Monday, October 15, 2012

Poem Submission #17 "A Plea for Understanding"



A PLEA FOR UNDERSTANDING 
by Jeffrey Igoe

You and I are not all that different.
You don’t know me personally
But you judge me anyway, everyday.
Having me in your life makes you uncomfortable You tell your friends to avoid me

Yet I am just like you.
My goals are not very different from yours.
I seek to survive, expand and connect.
To grow much like you.

Yet you condemn me for such actions
You don’t want me around
I make you feel uncomfortable
Your anxiety rises in my presence
The world would be a better place without me! I heard you say once.

I complicate your life being around,
For that I am sorry.
I was dropped into this world as were you.
I have as much a right to exist as you.
Yet you think you are better than me

You feel more entitled, more advanced.
Your belittling behaviors attempt to mitigate the rage deep within your being A contempt you have for me just because I am being who I was created to be.
That you’d like to unleash on me I am well aware.
Yet I have the same goals in this life as you Oh, how I, too, want to travel!

To explore the numerous routes, and pathways To traverse arteries unseen, rivers that race to new meeting grounds Leading me to partner with new chums of varying backgrounds.
I, unlike you, do not discriminate against any persons Who wander this great Eden

Sometimes, in “mixed” company
You try to act kind - more formal - cordial, even.
Yet we both know what looms in the depths of your veins.
You’d rather I was not with you.  For its extra effort for me to tag along.
You don’t even like to call me by name or introduce me For fear that others will shun you for associating with me.

You make me uncomfortable for your comfort You do things to minimize me daily Yet I persevere in the midst of adversity.
You try to push me away
But I do not retreat

Sometimes I am weakened, I will concede
Yet I know I am strong despite being knocked down again and again I have persevered some 30 years in this hourglass of life I have been around the world and back again Today, I shall move past your petty labels I will make a new friend.  Your Partner, perhaps?

“Who will I encounter today?”- to connect, to grow to advance.
Will it be the red head chewing gum at the bar?
Or perhaps I shall enchant that young mother with child today After all, she is trying to grow new life just as I am trying to rebuild- To flourish

I do not discriminate like you do
I am happy to be with any friend who will have me However, you cannot unfriend me Once you agree to be with me

So next time you go to judge and condemn To perpetuate the stigma Know that I will not

I will persevere.
I am gaining strength everyday, enhancing my existence with new allies.
I will not stop toiling until I have expanded.
Matured and reproduced

You will hear of my name again.
Perhaps from a friend, a brother, or a niece Maybe your doctor will introduce us

But for today I am sorry I did not befriend your Partner.
Your stigmatizing, abusive hatred for me is evident.
You and I connected for sure that New Years Eve, but Today your shield will not let me pass to the arteries I seek for comfort with your lover.

On your next anniversary, may I recommend a bottle of bubbly?
The tasty efervescent  libation of love may weaken your resolve when your hormones are throbbing and perhaps then I will align with your mate.
Then your lover will know my name. 
Three innocuous letters, H - I - V.

You and I are not all that different.
You don’t know me personally
But you judge me anyway, everyday.
Having me in your life makes you uncomfortable You tell your friends to avoid me

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