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Friday, March 06, 2020


by Pepper Trail

The New York Times, March 5, 2020:

“Elizabeth Warren, Once a Front-Runner, Drops Out of Presidential Race”

“If American women earned minimum wage for the unpaid work they do around the house and caring for relatives, they would have made $1.5 trillion last year.”

In front of the bright lights
You carry a lifetime of learning
Lightly—for you it must be lightly
When you try, you are given nothing
When you succeed, you earn—fear

In the dark silent hours
Your cool hand comforting the feverish child
Your words calming the confused grandfather
What you have to give is taken
What is demanded of you is – more

Visible, invisible, there is no place of safety
To be loved, be silent
To be listened to, be quiet
When you ask, the answer is no
When you do not ask, there is no answer

In front of the lights, in the dark hours
Hold fast to your worth
Someday, rocks will crack
Someday, a wave will rise
Someday.  Someday.  Someday.

Pepper Trail is a poet and naturalist based in Ashland, Oregon. His poetry has appeared in Rattle, Atlanta Review, Spillway, Kyoto Journal, Cascadia Review, and other publications, and has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net awards. His collection Cascade-Siskiyou was a finalist for the 2016 Oregon Book Award in Poetry.