Poem: Decolonization, Not a Word

This poem is in response to activism and activist language, which can and is often very exclusive. People become favorites and are passed the microphone while others are sidestepped and trampled, just like in the "real" world. If you don't know the activist language then you are out of the circle that you could be in. The activist language is exclusive to people who are not in that circle, not educated (activist, university and/or both), not wanting to be educated, those who have experienced extreme and constant economic poverty, low-income, working poor and working class folk. Additionally, activism and activist language can be exclusive to people who fit into the lone wolf, outcast, hermit or wayfaring stranger category. These folks often are very different, have awkward social skills and difficulty relating to folks in the "community." Finally, decolonization simply means the undoing of colonization. But, what does this mean when you constantly experience abuse, deal with addiction, discrimination, underemployment, unemployment and many other intricate layers of oppression. What does one word in the activist community have to do with you when you suffer day in and day out. What does it mean when you are alone and no one cares about you because you don't fit into the activist community. In trying to find a meaning or make sense of what I and many others have experienced a new poem was created.


Decolonization, Not a Word

What can you do,
When colonization catapults onto your being,
Burrows into your soul,
Your heart,
Your mind,
Your family,
Your hands,
What do you do?
When all you know is abuse,
Addiction,
What do you do?
When all you know is to cry,
There's no resources,
There's no outlet,
Even within the community,
As much as people emphasize community,
Community organizing,
Community activist,
I'm a community person,
When people are still crying,
Crying,
In their homes,
Alone,
What do you do when this burrows in,
What do you do to the intricate layers of oppression,
When decolonization is not a word,
Its not an idea,
Not known,
And your touting your activist language,
When people are at home,
They have no resources,
No community,
No activist organizing for them in their homes,
What do you do when colonization burrows into your soul?