They were the ones who gave me the quick and dirty
education about Appalachia, coal and absentee
landlords. They were the ones who stood with me in the
mountains blasted to rubble. (no metaphors here.)
They were the ones who sat with around crowded
cafeteria tables in Frankfort. They were the ones
who traded dirty jokes about Kentucky's invented tax
pyramid. (Geeks rule!) They were the ones who
taught me to lobby and to listen. We choose each other.
This was the year
that faces disappeared, omitting lips, noses, chins, mouths.
A part can never encompass a whole. This was the year
when we lost our beloved spaces, and the virus took many
among us. This was the year that my spine straightened
into a metal post, completely rigid. This was the year that
a young woman was shot dead in her apartment and,
legally, her death was held of no count. This was the year
that a police officer, sworn to serve and protect, knelt
on a man's neck for eight minutes. This was the year that
we couldn't brunch, but we gathered in the streets to
cry for these two, and many others. This was the year I
read Baldwin, Levi, Morrison, Weisel and their
voices pierced me as never before. This was the year.
Margaret was an amazing poet, voracious reader of books, and had a sharp mind and wit. Social justice meant everything to her. She published her poems in several collections, most recently working with a group of poets with disabilities called Zoeglossiat.