--Chicago Tribune, April 13, 2012
You can be stopped, arrested,
and strip-searched for any reason,
no matter how small the suspected
offense. No recourse if they grabbed
the wrong person. Your employer
can fire you for photos on the Internet
where you’re shown holding a glass
of wine or wearing a low-cut dress,
while you were on vacation in Italy.
While you’ve been hiding from news,
sheltered under a rock, digging
a hole in the sand for your head,
your employer is asking for passwords
to FaceBook accounts. You can be evicted
or dismissed for your sexual preference,
although those in power give other
reasons. Religious people believe
atheists can’t be trusted, put them
on par with thieves rapists. (You’ll
do anything if god isn’t watching.)
You think the Supreme Court
has nothing to do with you? Those
folks in long robes aren’t deciding
your future? You better buy another
truckload of sand, bury your journals.
If you speak openly about your beliefs
on equality, if you value scientific evidence,
be prepared to be investigated and called
a liar. If you’re held under the Patriot Act,
you better be brave. It’s not torture
to jail you indefinitely without charges.
You better have courage and a good attorney
because nothing is free.
Joan Mazza has worked as a psychotherapist, writing coach, certified sex therapist, and medical microbiologist, has appeared on radio and TV as a dream specialist. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Perigee/Putnam). Her work has appeared in Kestrel, Stone’s Throw, Rattle, Writer's Digest, Playgirl, and Writer's Journal. She now writes poetry and does fabric art in rural central Virginia.