"A Hidden Loss," "Tops Friendly Markets," and "Protest"
A Hidden Loss
The art of listening is fading,
the way light fades at the end
of the day, when we need
lamps, candles that erase
the shadows of the lies
we cling to, and separation,
the quiet understanding
that unites us.
Tops Friendly Markets
In a neighborhood in Buffalo, New York,
a young man headed for the grocery store
where a mother was buying ice cream
for her daughter, and people were lining
the aisles, talking to each other.
When he entered, he lifted his rifle
shooting and killing ten people
and wounding others. This small
area of Black people is low
income, but its infrastructure is
made of kindness and the place was
always vibrant with people who
were helping each other. People
lit candles across from Tops,
flowers were laid in remembrance,
and now they are traumatized, afraid
to go out. But we do not grieve or
reach out to each other in our country.
The story will fade from our memories
and people move on to their own
concerns; high inflation, the price
of gas, and what was once at the
margins is now in the center,
"replacement theory," the motto of
White Supremacy, the loud voices on
the far right claiming that they were
the real Christians, and the silence
of those who were not affected,
denying our history and the need
for profound changes.
Rows of small shoes were placed
by candles in Helsinki
to protest the killing of 210
children in Mariupol, to awaken
us to the empty arms of mothers,
fathers, grandmothers, aunts,
and uncles, a loss that
stretches before a country
that is not only physically
damaged, but emotionally facing
a long and tortuous road
ahead while people speak
of bringing war crimes to the
U.N. that cannot respond as
a government would, and
sanctions that intertwine
national needs with the Ukraine's.
How will we respond to
the loss of a generation, with
an empty roadway ahead.
Besides writing books, Marguerite Guzman Bouvard has spent her life volunteering on behalf of social justice. She has been writing to a black prisoner in Lincoln Nebraska, helping him with his poetry, and has published a chapbook of his work called Soul Songs. We need to know that our prisons are filled with mostly black and Latino prisoners, many of whom made only minor offenses. Her new poetry book is Shades of Meaning and she is working on a non-fiction book, Climate Visionaries Around the World. She will have a new poetry book coming out in 2023. Marguerite supports the Mississippi Center for Justice.