Social Justice Poetry

Catherine B. Krause

To the Next-Door Neighbor | A Social Justice Poem by Catherine B. Krause

I’m glad you think I’m pretty
and I really did like
the little ceramic cup with my name on it,
but you voted to zap me straight and cis,
deport the scared closeted trans girl
with no memory of the country she was born in,
take away our health care,
send the harmless theology student in Ohio
who loved to talk Semitic linguistics
and the guy down the street who hosted the car wash
for the Red Cross the Sunday after 9/11
into a war zone of America’s creation
that your vote has only worsened,
and enable a confessed sexual predator
who thinks it’s me and the people I love
who shouldn’t be allowed in public restrooms,
so you can love the sinner from a distance.

Donald Trump Congratulates Himself on the Crucifixion of Jesus | A Social Justice Poem by Catherine B. Krause

I got up from the bench
I was sleeping on in DuPont Circle,
cleaned up, bought new makeup and new clothes,
grew breasts, endured attacks
by conspiracies of friends and strangers,
and walked back to the circle
where there were half-naked people,
corporate sponsors, and a bigoted preacher screaming,
“You abominations should be ashamed of yourselves!”
so I lifted my shirt up and shook my new breasts
as close to his face as I could through the wall of police officers
defending his free speech instead of our right to be safe from harassment,
mocked him and heckled him, ridiculed him, laughed at his beliefs,
and then, the next day, a bigot in another city
made me want to lie back down,
but I couldn’t, because I had things to do,
people to see, and only 24 hours.

The Problem with Holidays | A Social Justice Poem by Catherine B. Krause

They’re hard on seven hundred fifty-seven dollars a month. Pennies must be squeezed instead of wished on. Big stores induce quick escapes and fits of heavy breathing, but the small and cheap ones are nice when there aren’t too many people who stare. They used to mock and beat you, now they hand you their number because they don’t know who you really are. It’d be over if they found out, so it’s best when there’s no crowd. If Amazon treated their workers like humans, then the Internet would be what you used to think it was, but they don’t, and you know what that’s like. That’s the problem, I guess.