In a Petri dish, words bloom, words culture,
culture blooms, words combine, compound
in the Petri dish, evidence based
on facts and the fact is there are words
for science based on study, built on acts
and observation—damn, even empathy
recorded, a diversity of words
vulnerable now to the kind of not-kind
entitlement I did not think
to mean America, the lid clamped down
on giving voice to the fetus words,
the transgender words stuffed into old suits
called normal, an artifice not art
when words we grew to count on
now an experiment redacted, results
left off the charts. In the dish we will
dish up new words, but the glass is cracking.
Joannie Stangeland has both a dictionary and a thesaurus and is not afraid to use them.
Inspiration: Censorship of words is disturbing (and Orwellian), but even more concerning to me is the censorship of identity and science, this intentional slippage backwards.