Auntie Em is calling….
I was just getting to love my Emerald City
The shiny feel of it, its sweetly diverse demi-monde.
Its shimmering green beauty and tranquil sense of safety.
The heels of my ruby red slippers were well & truly dug in.
But no, the state fair balloon stands before me ******* & ready to go.
A grand exclamation mark in my way if ever there was one.
And Toto for once has gone mute, no chance of a last minute hold up.
"Dorothy, Dorothy, where are you?"
I guess it must have been too fantastical a dream to be true.
A time for goodbyes.
I’m embracing the Lion telling him to always be proud of himself & not to walk unafraid.
The Tin Man’s gentle open heartedness I compliment him on as we both shed tears.
The Scarecrow I kiss and thank for his loyalty & grace under fiery pressure.
With a heavy heart, I climb that first tentative step on the block.
"We’re sick with worry over you"
I could be angry but the wise words of the mystic ring loudly in my year.
I do need to go back – My Auntie Em is really calling me.
Calling me back to the grey flatlands of home.
Back to the numbness of small town heteronormativity.
Where Twisters rarely every came by to sweep you away and save you.
I could only keep singing ‘Over The Rainbow’ in vain hope.
"Find yourself a place where you won't get into any trouble!
Unlike Dorothy Gale, this Dorothy left Kansas voluntarily
The long yellow brick road finally took me under the rainbow and on to my Emerald City
I no longer pined for home but knew all along that it would call me back one day.
And so here I am, drifting higher & higher away from my adopted home.
Perhaps I need to build a revolving door when I get there to pass through both worlds easily
Or perhaps bring something of the rainbow back to illuminate the grey-lands.
Or perhaps – in reality - some reconciliation between these worlds is in order.
It’s time to slip on the ruby red slippers and prepare the way for Kansas.
Yes, this Dorothy has surrendered but
I always had the power to be me, my dear.
I just had to learn it for myself.
August –September 2018
This poem was written in response to my feelings about some tragic news I received last month & how I was dealing with it. Initially, it was quite deep & bitter in the way it wallowed over the world I thought I was losing because of my duty to family. My home town is a stifling throwback to bad old neanderthal homophobia and has nary a sniff of transcendental beauty unlike my adopted home.
However, I thought long & hard and realised that because I now stand tall as a proud bi/pan/queer person I should take what I have gained and use it to guide me. Plus my anger was wrongly placed - not at the family member for taking me away from my Emerald City but cancer itself for throwing chaos into our lives.