Poem: My Neighbor’s House

My Neighbor’s House

It would seem that a wise man would worry
About the termites eating the wood next door,
Considering that when they get through eating through my ceiling
They would move on to yours…
But logic has been a well kept secret,
And need must be an uninvited guest
Because few have risen to meet it,
And virginity an unwanted hand-me-down
Because few girls want to keep it,
And the truth a painful drug
Because everyone wants to leave it…
How many international friends must
We watch down to skin and bones
Before we consider help doesn’t need a passport?
How many times must we shift the blame
From gays, to blacks, to people with wayward ways
Before we realize there are many faces of AIDS
And infection is open membership
But insurance is not.
We pick few to blame
But forget our positive peers are in a melting pot,
We all have twins in.
We have made HIV a synonym for sin
And if fear had a club we have all joined and got the pin
Since the 1980’s.
When we judged gay males but with Ryan White felt bad for the babies.
When positives were deadly and obituaries were written daily
And today the picture is different but the frame is the same.
Tests went from 2 weeks to 20 minutes
And the prognosis went from death to now you may live the length of your days.
They went from running to calling “prevention” the name of the game,
And now while we talk heavily about how HIV can be prevented
We forget how our stigmas can be prevented too.
We fund when we feel bad or a celebrity has urged us to
And then forget later that care cannot fluctuate with mood.
So who will fight for the clinics, and the legislation, and the programs that still care?
Who will support the positive and defend the negative from getting there?
Who will see the communities who need a lift and step up to offer the fare?
Hopefully a neighbor.
A wise man who saw the termites eating the wood next door and offered to save his neighbor’s house.
There is no room to be selfish when the ceiling starts crumbling down.
Termites do not choose homosexual, or street, or black wood to eat out
But if we all are wise men we would realize we all could have termites in our house,
And fight to save it.

Written by: Jessica Anderson

Filed Under: AIDS Awareness

About the Author: publications@snma.org

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