Wednesday, 21 August 2013

(Poem) Eastside Requiem

Source: The Tyee
look into my eyes and
see the lost horizon
step across the line, your world to mine
and you'll wizen

under fading streetlights
winter chills and night frights
somewhere east of where you ceased to care
where the earth blights

and you don't shed a tear
while my friends disappear
without warning
one more dark winter's eve
one more lost life to grieve
in the morning

another daughter of the eastside
nothing but someone else's problem

yes you knew the story
knew we were the quarry
knew he was bad news, yet you would choose
to ignore me

in this urban blister
every stolen sister
had a tale to tell, she cried and fell
you dismissed her

who was she, you don't care
she was used, disrepaired
and foresaken
but the faces and names
and the loved ones remain
ere to waken

daughters standing in procession
one day to stand in vindication

(Vancouver, 2007)

This week the children of three women who were murdered by Robert Pickton filed lawsuits against the police and the serial killer, marking the first such cases involving women Pickton was convicted of killing. This brings the total number of cases filed since May in relation to the Pickton slayings to nine, alleging the RCMP failed to properly investigate their disappearances.

The families and loved ones of these missing women continue to fight for justice, even as this crime has now faded from public consciousness. This unspeakable crime against the city of Vancouver's most vulnerable and downtrodden residents, and the apathy that surrounded their plight until the horrible reality of the situation was revealed to all, must never be forgotten.

I wrote this poem over six years ago. The fact that any news story on this and similar stories involving murdered women on the fringes of society are either shut down to comments altogether or have close to half the comments blocked due to offensive content tells me that the bigger fight against the prevailing social attitudes that abetted this atrocity is far from over.

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