Listen to Podcast Interview with Grace Cavalieri on The Poet and the Poem

7 Disappearing Words*

First to go were the [vulnerable] with little voice
          and no [entitlement] to fairness. Next up

[diversity] was whited out in one clean stroke
          along with [evidenced-based] as in "provable",

or "true". Words that made people feel uncomfortable
          like [fetus] or threatened the powerful

like [science-based] had to be deleted. Without words
          you can even make a people disappear

so on a plain gray desk, a blunt red pen crossed out
           [transgender] and they were gone.

Honerable Mention: 2018 Moving Words Poetry Competition
First Published in Lummox 7

*The forbidden words are "vulnerable," "entitlement," "diversity," "transgender," "fetus," "evidence-based" and "science-based." See Washington Post, December 15, 2017, CDC Gets List of Forbidden Words.