Welcome to Poetically Yours, where you'll hear the voices of Illinois poets as they share their words about the world around them. This week features Margo Anderson. Her poem is called, "Threat."
When did our children go from asking for help to wailing in pain?
When did their subtle requests for change become screams of terror?
When did high school stop being something challenging and turn into a
literal fight for lives?
Active shooter drills, stop the bleed training, and armed officers
Rapists and racists on campus and a war outside
Teen suicides and bomb threats
Threats from within and from without
Safety, a mask used to protect some rich guy in an ivory tower checking
off boxes for appearance
Killing our youth with constant fear along with gunfire
They were never safe
They will never be safe
Not until we stop running through guidelines and lists and start hearing them
Start dismantling the system that made things this way
Stop substituting threats to their bodies with threats to their minds
At what point does our reaction to the disease become worse than the
I fear we’re rapidly approaching that line
Margo Anderson was born and raised in Illinois but moved away to attend Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. After graduating with a bachelor’s in psychology, she moved back to Illinois to study LGBT and women’s studies at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb.
Today she works at Association for Individual Development in Aurora as a direct support person where she helps individuals with special needs. She also volunteers for Friends for Therapeutic Equine Activities in Wayne, Illinois where she uses the horses to enrich the lives of people with special needs.
When she’s not working or volunteering, she enjoys numerous hobbies. They include: horseback riding, swimming, going to the gym, playing both board and video games, knitting, crocheting, reading, and writing poetry and prose. She also loves spending time with friends and family, playing with animals and enjoying nature.
- Yvonne Boose is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.