I am not a peripheral
nor illegal human being

my flesh, the churchgoing
does not make me America, never has

since native tribes
thrived on their land

long before us
farming without raping the soil

cherishing the buffalo
before the malice of slaughter

my origin story is a perk
of present and past necessities

everything earned
had a kickstarter campaign

every move had a living hope
a paper trail of sponsors

I am not invisible
nor silenced

you have heard my voice
the hymn singing, the poems

you have seen
the job offers, mortgaged houses

you may have noticed the low hurdles
you may have wondered why

Diane Vogel Ferri is a teacher, poet, and writer living in Solon, Ohio. Her essays have been published in Scene Magazine, Cleveland Stories, Yellow Arrow Journal, and Good Works Review among others. Her poems can be found in numerous journals such as Plainsongs, Rubbertop Review, and Poet Lore. Her previous publications are Liquid Rubies (poetry), The Volume of Our Incongruity (poetry), The Desire Path (novel) and her newest novel No Life But This: A Novel of Emily Warren Roebling. Read other articles by Diane.