And I feel far from fine.
After this first week of the Trump era, I am left without words. I’ll be back in touch when I find them again.
For now, I have three things for you. The first is a quotation from the gospel of Matthew:
¨I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.¨ (Matthew 25:35).
The second is a website that, if you oppose anything you’ve been hearing over the past week, will give you ideas on how to turn discontent into action.
And finally, a poem of mine. I wrote it years ago. Please tear down the walls. Good fences do not make good neighbours.
She is my sister.
I had never visited her family’s shanty,
just as she’d never seen my home in the suburbs.
She always wore the same yellow dress
on her way to the market to sell chewing gum,
while I wore a starched plaid uniform
on my way to school.
Each morning we met on a grassy field
halfway between our homes.
We walked hand in hand,
that only the ground beneath could hear.
“Stand back,” they cried out.
Dazed, we watched
as they started to dig a ditch
and built a chain-linked fence
After they, with their shovels, had left,
we passed friendship bracelets
through holes in the fence,
picked dandelions that grew alongside
and blew their seeds so they would grow
thick and fast and knock the fence down.
As teenagers, we found
the chain-linked fence replaced
by a wooden one
with gaps as thin as wafers
through which I barely glimpsed her face.
We still wove flowers through grooves,
still scattered seeds.
Now that we are adults, a brick wall divides us.
Each morning, I go alone,
wondering if she is on the other side,
if she too is pressing her hands against the wall,
kneeling down to plant seeds that
will one day be climbing roses
Somehow I know she too believes
we are sisters,
that halfway between our homes
there is still an open grassy meadow
with only the sky and the ground