Updated: Oct 2, 2020
There were human feces in the alley behind the salon.
Wednesday, and again Thursday.
Two pairs rain-soaked jeans.
A pair of men's black Velcro shoes.
Gross. Sad. A little too real.
Definitely a poignant reflection of the times.
Clean it up. Call the police. Make a report.
Shoo the perpetrator away.
Maintain order with a nightly drive-by.
Run off the issue and it ceases to exist.
Homelessness in a time of COVID.
If I don't see it, it's not real.
A serious affront to our unabashed narcissism.
An uncomfortably jarring disruption.
Despite disruption and discomfort becoming the norm.
Every day a new adjustment to a new normal.
Still the drive to present a flawless image.
As people. As a country.
Mask fashion exceeding safety.
Looking good overriding common sense.
Eyelash selfies and photo filters.
Hiding our emotional crumbling.
Lipstick on a pig.
Yet, vulnerability makes you a snowflake.
"Patriotism" the new, accepted word for
My way is the best way. The only way.
A bastardization of the original.
Intention of the forefathers lost in self-service.
They say we're the greatest nation.
Greatest at hiding our ugly. Greatest at looking good.
Then it lands home. My need to look good.
Trowel in each hand, daily smoothing.
Working so hard to hide the cracks, the chinks in the brickwork.
Each advertisement chiseling away at sanity.
Politics and racism pulling at the seams of my patchwork quilt.
My own inability to utter the words, "No, today I am not okay."
A song on the radio reminds me,
"There's beauty in the breakdown"
Authenticity for sure, anyway. Honesty. Reality.
A mirror of my own dishonesty.
Layer upon layer of icing on a shit cake.
A stark reminder that it all begins with me.
An original poem by Jeanette Micallef 2020