The Red Tape Canal (for Kanell Washington)
And yet again, we meet and stand here,
seated in the joy of remembrance,
and in mournful sorrow of a presence of a treasure gone;
Because we know;
Because we care.
How much longer do we holler, yell and scream?
Another human being has died;
his value and dream immorally defied.
To all of us here, who respect all life,
we ask not how he died, but why?
To others, he was a statistic and line item,
detailed in the budget with a name and number;
Waiting registered and certified, in timeless limbo, to be served.
Tagged, unemployed, homeless,
ill and societally displaced.
And now scratched off the list, deleted, and filed away;
Just some data saved for researchers baling hay;
Never mind, he had no place to stay.
No place to protect the fragile shell called his body, mind and skin;
He needed more than emergency room stabilization to live and invisibly blend in;
While waiting for the red tape to self-destruct and end.
He resourcefully searched for food to practice his joy as a chef,
Yes he was a great cook.
Too bad we will never see his bible of a cookbook.
His patience and waiting paid off in time
by the time he passed away, in fact the next day, he was notified.
The voucher was approved and all was good.
There was just one problem with the red tape, it was twenty-four hours too late.
Rest in peace, my brother;
and let’s pray we put Brian Carome out of a job;
End homeless knots, it does not belong in a human place.
You can read our memorial for Kanell’s here.