Enough Subway America | Lorraine Jeffery


Can we compensate?

               Settle accounts 
                             with the Black man
                             living in the ghetto?
                             the self-worth of the Muslim
                             woman who was spit at?
                             for the slights in the communities
                             who banished the Irish?
                             the Navaho for his beaten
                             and murdered grandfather?
               Make amends
                             to women who were denied
                             opportunities to be heard?

Probably not,
but we can support justice.

                             in our hiring practices.
               Due Process
                             in our renting policies.
                             in our laws.
                             in our judgements.

Still, it’s not enough.

                             have to see.

                             have to care. 

                             have to open.

On the Subway

Do you see me,
sitting next to you?
You push up your glasses,
and look past me,
seeking a mirror to talk to.

Your voice is soft,
kind perhaps,
as you smile and nod
discuss children and
slow transportation.

Being brown, 
I don’t reflect you,
but she isn’t really a
copy either. 
She’s taller, 
like me
and she’s younger—
unlike you and me.  

I speak English,
was born in California,
raised in Illinois,
have two children,
probably work in a building
near yours. Is there
nothing you can say to me?

I reflect sameness—
but not enough?
Maybe, I should speak, 
but would you hear
you don’t see?

Nathan Dumlao
via Unsplash

America 1790

We hold these truths,
          Do we?
To be self-evident
          Not through much of history.
That all men
          Define men.
          No women though, right?
Are created equal,
          Whoa! Not Blacks—
          three-fifths of a person
          no property ownership
          no votes
          no signed contracts?
          Oh yeah! 
          not people.

©2022 Lorraine Jeffery
All rights reserved

Lorraine Jeffery…

…has won prizes in state and national contests and published over a hundred poems in journals including Clockhouse, Kindred, Halcyone, Canary, Ibbetson Street, Rockhurst Review, Naugatuck River Review, Orchard Street Press, Healing Muse and Bacopa Press. Her first book is titled When the Universe Brings Us Back, 2022.

Website / Blog Linked

Remember Me and Return | Isadora De La Vega

Darkness Together
digital landscape from photographs
Michael Dickel ©2022

Remember Me and Return

Darkness covers me like a blanket
Shadows surround my thoughts
My arms wrap tightly around me
Deserted, no one home

You keep me isolated 
My only friend, just you
Smiles ne’er intrude our space
With you, I’m safe and whole

The thorns of my emotions
Keep rising from deep inside
Always in your shadows
Always in your arms

I cannot see the rose
Only thorns of pain
Madness all around me
It keeps me huddled tight

Tomorrow won’t be different
It will always be the same
Fear keeps me shaking
My spirit is tattered, worn

Darkness gives me comfort
Forever, all alone
My prayer is you’ll 
Remember me and return home

©2022 Isadora De La Vega
All rights reserved

Isadora De La Vega…

…biography goes here, with ellipses in front. Link to known social media accounts, website, and / or blog. Delete the words if no links. Edit the Find the The BeZine button link to include the names where it says FirstName and LastName. If there are more than two names, add a plus-sign (+) and additional names, in order. Add Social Media links if we have (do not need to, but can delete the social media block if none). Replace art to the left with a photo. (Use the NO photo block if there isn’t one, not this block).

Website / Blog