Human

Silence.
The sound of it is deafening
It’s a comfort I enjoy
As thoughts drift away.

My eyes grow heavy.
Images flash before me.
Colorful.
Mesmerizing.

I am human.
I am flawed.

I see more than you think.
I see more than you know.

Look in the mirror.
I am you, reflecting back.

Close your eyes.

Can you hear me?
Can you see that?

Turn off the light.
Turn up the noise.

We are human.
We are flawed.

Higgledy Piggledy

Higgledy piggledy
Wiggledy wump,
I met a man
Who caught a mump:
With his left cheek lumpy
And his right cheek bumpy –
Higgledy piggledy
Wiggledy wump.

Higgledy piggledy
Sniggledy sneezle,
I met a man
Who caught a measle:
With his chest all dots
And his face all spots –
Higgledgy piggledy
Sniggledy sneezle.
– Alligator Pie, Dennis Lee, 1939

I read this book to the kids the other night.  My daughter loves the illustrations and this one in particular.  She asked me what a mump and measle was.  I explained that they were illnesses caused by germs (viruses) but that most of us don’t get them anymore because of vaccines. She kind of understands what vaccines are, I explained how it’s a needle that she gets that protects her from illnesses like the one described in the story.  She seemed satisfied with that, so we continued reading the book.

But my mind stayed on Higgledy Piggledy, primarily because of the news recently.  There have been outbreaks of measles in a few Canadian cities, mostly in communities where the vaccination rates are frighteningly low.  In the nation’s capital, Ottawa, a young boy contracted measles after returning from the Philippines, a trip he took with his parents.  The child wasn’t vaccinated.  Upon returning home, he became ill and went to not one, not two, but three different walk-in clinics (including an emergency room) before getting diagnosed. Meanwhile, the child was infecting his classmates at school, not to mention a potentially vulnerable population in the ER.  Within a few weeks, another four cases were confirmed.  Another outbreak is also happening in British Columbia.

I’ve written a lot about vaccines.  I’m not going to belabor the point, I believe vaccines work and I believe they are safe.  I don’t believe they cause autism and I believe that, in the end, after all is said and done, vaccines save lives.

Back in 1939, Dennis Lee was born. Decades later he wrote a poem about mumps and measles.  He likely had the illnesses as a child.  He probably recovered.  Not everyone he knew would have been that lucky.

Please vaccinate your children.

Sulkeminen

Day 27 – January Daily Blog Posting Month

Sulkeminen

It’s hard to say goodbye in this age
Out of sight yet not out of mind
Our footprints echo for eternity
And I continue to feel watched.
 
I cause my own discomfort
News filters from the grapevine
Cigarette burns continue to smolder
They hurt and bleed still.
 
The time has come and gone
Words not spoken, more thoughts are written
Today I turn the page
And close the door for good.