by Becky Lee
Honorable Mention – Flash 405, June 2019: “Legacy”
in 3-inch heels (or was it 4?) scaling the walls of City Hall. Sylvia in the chic coat & fierce dress / marching the streets on winter and summer days of action. Sylvia with perfectly combed hair, / powerful & poised with fist in the air. Interrupting! Demanding! Fighting! Sylvia, a S.T.A.R., / lighting up truth. Sylvia Rivera: Presente! It’s been 50 years & we are still standing here at the / wall, the intersection, shouting: Why the hell are “our” people still leaving our people behind?
With its fitting use of the prose poem, this piece gives a moving, living portrait of a monumental figure and her impact on a movement. Its expert use of repetition magnifies this larger-than-life figure that LGBTQ activists owe so much to. At the same time, this poem prompts us to honor that legacy with the work still to be done.
Becky Lee is a queer Asian American writer and educator currently living in Portland, Oregon. Becky was born and raised in New York City and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College where she studied poetry, dance, and literature. At the age of 40, Becky earned her Master’s degree in Education. As a public high school English Language Arts teacher and social justice educator, Becky is committed to helping young people discover their voices as writers. Her poetry has appeared in Rise Up Review and Cold Mountain Review.