The Disappeared — By Mary Silwance

Heartland!

term to describe

people erased

for existing

against the grain–

the disappeared

gone

not like the rapture

not from natural causes diseases accidents age

but deleted

the disappeared

aborted

long after birth

tossed into

the garbage bin

behind history books

the disappeared

expunged

blue contacts over brown seeing

flat iron over kinky locks

jeans over galabaya*

Irish Spring over cumin and garlic

the letters of your name

syllables of you

forever on papers

rearranged to match

a stranger in a strange land’s ear
the disappeared

~ Mary Silwance

*flowing gown worn by Middle Easterners

Mary Silwance is an environmental educator and activist who blogs at Tonic Wild and founded One Less Pipeline. She is a mother of three and a gardener who aspires to having goats, bees and chickens. Her work has been published in Syracuse Cultural Workers Datebook, Konza Journal, Descansos and Sequestrum.

Guest Editor Maril Crabtree holds…

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Raised Hands

Heartland!

robWritten in protest of police brutality and in remembrance of the
brothers and sisters murdered through excessive police force.

It’s gotten cold again.
That familiar frigid feeling where lifelessness grows thick in the air.
Spare us the talk of seasons, this seems year round.
The sound of rapid heartbeats slowing meets with earth
shattering silence to make the soundtrack of our sorrow.
The last waves of heat waft upward.
The light, salvation appearing unreachable.

We raise our hands.

Maybe we can catch just a bit of it in our palms.
Maybe we just have questions that need answering and
our conditioning tells us our hands must go up first.
Maybe with lies no longer supporting our world we are trying to catch falling sky
in a moment of survival inspired instinct thinking we can bear the weight.

Wait!
Don’t shoot!
Why are you shooting?!
I’m just taking the shape of…

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She Says

Heartland!

rondaShe doesn’t dream.
Each afternoon I ask, hopeful,
she as despondent as I by her response.
“Not of ponies, a unicorn, white kittens?” I ply.
She shakes her head side to side.
Full lips whisper, “No,” so quietly that I’m lip reading.

During the day, she shares her tears,
tells me how badly she misses her mom
who lives behind bars.
Her older brother, who has
somehow transformed into her
baby brother, she cries for him too.
They have different fathers.
His came for him, hers has not.

Today I decide to change things.
I don’t ask her if she had a dream, I know she did.
I know she does every afternoon and night.
They are nightmares, filled with a loss so dark
that can’t be shared in light of day,
can’t be spoken, can not be remembered.
They are felt so far inside there are no words to…

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18 Things We Should Have Been Taught As Teenagers

Thought Catalog

1. Hard work will not always equate to success. You can put up a good fight and still lose. There are just some things that, for whatever reason, we have to carry with us.

2. There will probably come a day when you want to study something that has (seemingly) no future benefit. Study it anyway. There will probably come a day when you want to be with someone who you know won’t last forever. Love them anyway. There will probably come a day when you want to leave something, or someone, and instead of looking for a reason, you should let that wanting be enough. Go anyway.

3. You shouldn’t ever assume to know the truth about someone. Addiction doesn’t always look like a drug-addled homeless person on the street, mental illness isn’t always apparent, pain does not always read across a person’s demeanor. Don’t judge people on the…

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