Moving Forward in Peace

by Laura Carpenter

Well, America. You voted.

You surprised, shocked and saddened me.

You reminded me that this country is not the progressive enclave I surround myself with.

You are an angry, misogynistic, racist country.

You are still my home.

But what kind of place am I raising my daughter in? What kind of people are my neighbors? What will happen to my family, my home?

How is it that so many people would rather have a bully who bragged about abusing women and who has no experience in government be president than a former secretary of state that has solid plans, ideas, foresight and respect?

Oh, America, America.

Why does party matter more than truth?

Why do men seem more valid than women?

I feared this outcome but didn’t really believe it. I thought we were smarter than that. I though we kinder than that.

I was wrong.

My heart is breaking. My eyes, which should have been opened after the Summer of Hate, want to close and hide and run.

This man reminds me so much of Hitler and Stalin that I am afraid. I don’t think the queers will be the first. First will be the Muslims. But the feminists, the critics, the literary, the rabble-rousers (who oppose the president-elect – not his trouble-makers who will be rewarded) and the like will be silenced as much as he can get away with – and he has already gotten away with a lot.

And Pence. Oh, Pence. Would he steal my daughter from me if given the chance?

It is not a good day to be a gay woman in a red state.

I need to write more than ever.

We must remain strong. We must speak. We must make our voices heard and keep our officials accountable.

We must fight for our rights – and the rights of others. Because they will try to steal them. In the name of freedom. In the name of righteousness. In so many names they have. They blanket their cruelty in the lingo masses want to hear, but Trump’s camp cares nothing for them. Trump cares only about Trump. He cares not for truth.

How do we heal? How do we move on?

I’m working on that.

Winter comes, icy and dark. The bitter wind shocks. And just when we can take no more, the sun starts to return and little by little so does the green.

Sometimes I feel like I am just one person, so small and insignificant, but I can bring love and light into my home, into my work, into my daughter’s school.

Maybe that’s not enough, but it’s a start.