USA and Canada

Articles, poems and other items about Canada and the United States of America.

The Best-Laid Plans

Drifts here together with his buddy
they pitch up with prayers and plans
A stake for a patch where they can scratch out
a living with their own hands
The preacher says labour makes you holy
your gold must be earned not panned
But nobody never gets to heaven and nobody gets no land

Thirty-Five

The life expectancy of a Black trans woman in the USA is just 35. This is a villanelle about that shocking statistic.

Black boys grown women fighting to survive
In freedom's land are some folks not allowed
To live beyond the age of thirty-five?

Dysphoria and prejudice connive
From gender manacles to funeral shroud
Black boys grown women fighting to survive

Crossing

Written after going through the Thousand Island border crossing from Canada to the USA.

Queue, crawl, window down, good day
Who? How many? Where from? Which way?
How long? What for?
Been here before?

Park, get out. Through those gates
Forms, names, numbers, dates
Terrorist? Spy? Crimes to confess?
(Does anyone ever answer Yes?!)

Become Not Women

In 1848, in response to the 300-strong Convention for Woman's Rights in Seneca Falls (USA) and its Declaration of Sentiments, a Philadelphia newspaper urged the city's ladies not to join the new movement and become women but to stay as "wives, belles, virgins and mothers". Here's my poetic response:

International Women's Day: Past, Present and Future

Written for International Women's Day 2007:

March 8th each year is International Women’s Day. It is celebrated across the globe, and is a day for campaigners to draw attention to women’s continued second-class citizenship and need for equality. However, it is also celebrated by the very same governments and corporations that contribute to women’s unequal rights.

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