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Monday, July 19, 2021


by Imogen Arate

Cartoon by Nate Beeler (Cagle Cartoons) via Tulsa World.

Let them face the insecurity of not knowing 
if home will remain haven 
in the hours separating dawn and dusk
Let them taste the bitter metal of cruelty
that tosses life into uncertainty
while hiding behind secured gates
Let them be exposed without retreat
to ready canines famished for sinking
into the bleeding of abused flesh

As empathy could not sway
the concrete heart
let them be cast into the weight
of lead shoes drowning 
without fail in the muck 
below the azure of waterlines

Let the stirring chaos made
by unsympathetic hands
swallow their owners 
into the whirlwind they 
conjured with others in mind

Let this ouroboros birthed
in ill intent latch onto
its diseased umbilical tail 
and ensnare those who
envisioned its callous trap
in its tightening coil

Imogen Arate is an award-winning Asian-American poet and writer and the Executive Producer and Host of Poets and Muses, a weekly poetry podcast that won second place at National Federation of Press Women's 2020 Communications Contest. She proudly hails from an immigrant family whose previous undocumented status and associated economic burdens nearly robbed her the opportunity to pursue higher education.  She has written in four languages and published in two. Her works were most recently published on the Global Vaccine Poem Project and Documented Experiences and in The Opiate. You can find her @PoetsandMuses on Twitter and Instagram.