September 2020 certainly hasn’t disappointed in delivering a whole slew of soul-shifting, emotional gut-punches in rapid succession. We saw Mitch McConnell shamelessly announce, on the very night that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, a hypocritical power play to fill her seat less than two months before the presidential election. We then witnessed the Kentucky Attorney General display his prosecutorial ineptitude and prioritize his personal need for white acceptance over all else, including things like his own dignity and the Kentucky police needlessly killing Breonna Taylor while she committed the dangerous act of sleeping in her home.
As we mourned the death of Justice Ginsburg, the U.S. also passed the grim milestone of more than 200,000 people dead from COVID-19 in just about six months. Earlier this year, when epidemiological experts published low-end estimates of a quarter million COVID-19 fatalities in the U.S. by year’s end, I remember feeling stunned and numb because I couldn’t get my head around the enormity of that many people dying in that amount of time. I still can’t comprehend that we have, in fact, lost more than 203,000 Americans to COVID-19 and nearly a million world-wide as of the date of this post. Although the last two haiku selections featured below are from 2017, after my Dad passed away, they feel appropriate to share now.
Poems in and of themselves can’t undo the damage or trauma of systemic racism or end a pandemic. They can, however, offer a way to practice actually feeling what’s happening instead of falling into numbness, or into yet another bag of chips or other inflammation-inducing, human-created comfort foods that many of us used to avoid pre-pandemic.
A few timely haiku as we all work to process another intense month.
(Check out POEMS for more Black Girl Haiku)
I wish Kentucky’s AG
Cared about your life.
[BlackGirlHaiku0001/September 6, 2020]
The heavy days are
When I get it wrong on the
[BlackGirlHaiku0006/September 13, 2020]
Bill Barr called slavery
“A different kind of restraint”
Cruelty is the point
[BlackGirlHaiku0009/September 17, 2020]
So, Daniel Cameron
Had Mitch at his wedding. So,
It all makes sense now
[BlackGirlHaiku0019/September 23, 2020]
RBG’s best trait:
She always used her privilege
To lift people up
[BlackGirlHaiku0021/September 23, 2020]
You were improving
Until you were not and then
You were gone from us
Dad’s final moments
Peaceful transition beyond