Suddenly Trans (Poetry by Jessica Holter)

Suddenly Trans (Poetry by Jessica Holter)

Suddenly Trans

One day in May

as if I had just awakened

from a chokehold

I saw you as others do

like my mother

who said you could not be trusted

with your shifty snake eyes

Like her mother,

who knew you to be a thief of land

and a wizard with a pen as a wand

Her mother who took on bullets and bombs 

from Oklahoma skies at your command

And her mother

a maiden of an indigenous American tribe

who became a slave by colored laws

and paper genocide

Like my father’s great-grandmother

who gave your great-grandfather a child

who gave him three 


you kept in bondage, so they say

One day in May, so suddenly

watching Harriet Tubman

rescue all those people in a dress

something click and your history 

started to look like fiction

In California, my hometown 

on a rescue mission

it became clear

slavery could have also been 

something more akin to foster care

where 34 percent of children 

are suddenly trans

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