Voice the Forbidden by Ingrid Bruck

White entitlement hides behind its walled enclave,

strikes people of color with hate,

clobbers the others in the name of business interests.

These self interest promoters

confiscate money, education and property

with each seizure of state park land for development,

every new well drilled in the Arctic,

the lessening of medical care for the masses.


Men build a blockade around their fortress,

tout the trickle down of greater good,

grow personal wealth

though profits run dry at the top layer.

In the pursuit of business,

they reject evidence-based research

revealing harm to the planet.

In the pursuit of business,

they prohibit science-based research

exposing hurt to people.


Rich white men cringe at the word entitlement,

a slur, the word assaults their honor,

slaps them with contempt.

It’s the middle word on a list

of seven forbidden words

issued to CDC by the Trump Administration,

words government employees are forbidden to use

to mitigate collateral damage to our leaders.


People of color are the enemy,

this vulnerable majority

increases in number everyday.

White men fear becoming an endangered species,

outnumbered as they are by people of color,

intimidated by the diversity and vigor introduced.

Any one other is a threat to the white elite.

No one outside the inner circle is safe,

the diminished middle class gets sacrificed

to make the rich richer.


Whites, in fear of their shrinking numbers,

build a higher barricade and threaten,

“Keep out of Wall Street.”

Those inside the fortress want all the money.

The barrier wobbles,

the masses call for bread, medicine, clothes

a roof overhead.

Pity the transgender outside.

Pity the fetus born into this maelstrom.

A mob in the streets calls for heads.


I’m including a poetry site that took up the Seven Forbidden Words as an agenda. I admire them for doing this. I send it to you in case it is of interest:
The CDC Poetry Project
Poems using the 7 words forbidden in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention documents for 2018 – Sarah Freligh and Amy Lemmon, editors
Founded by Sarah Freligh and Amy Lemmon to give voice to the forbidden. A collection of poems written in response to the Trump Administration’s directive to the Centers for Disease Control on December 15, 2017, as reported in the Washington Post, that official documents being prepared for the 2018 budget were not to contain the following words:
Starting on December 16, Sarah and Amy invited poets to submit poems in any form that included all seven of these words, preferably in repetition, to CDCpoetry@gmail.com, for publication on the blog

2 thoughts on “Voice the Forbidden by Ingrid Bruck

  1. Michael, I reread the poems you have published here on I Am Not a Silent Poet, you write strong poems of protest against all kinds of abuse. I’m impressed by by the way you punch home the end lines, Great writing!!! Thanks for taking the time to read what I wrote. I’m pretty new to poetry of witness yet feel called… Ingrid

    Liked by 1 person

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