Collective Awareness

Malicious forces
find ways to
get to
you. I tried not
to let this one
but it was
in doing so
that it got me. I didn’t  sleep for
that I was only
But ultimately, I
had to do something
about it.
I saw that
other people were starting to see.
I felt my pain
merge with theirs;
collective trauma
I felt the burden of
leave me,
freed outwards

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

As a third-year medical student, it had been hard for her to make time for protesting when the Black Lives Matter movement was reignited. However, after a few weeks of the protests, she realized that she needed to go. She hadn’t been able to sleep well since they began and she was struggling to focus on anything else, including schoolwork. At the first protest she attended, she realized just how many people shared her outrage and pain regarding systemic racism and police brutality. As the months passed, she witnessed a new awareness of these problems spread through society. Meeting so many people working towards a better world and seeing how much more aware people were of systemic racism and police brutality helped her to feel empowered, hopeful, and less alone in these issues.

Interviewee: Anonymous, Medical Student
Listener Poet: Elle Klassen

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