Words change their meaning.
What Awful once meant was Full of Awe
Inspiring and amazing and wondrous.
Common slang becomes uncommon and esoteric
And what once meant one thing can now mean something
Beyond any scope of what was intended by the first lips
To speak that word or phrase.
What was common but inconvenient can be
Repainted as vile and sinful and wrong, demonized.
What once was hated and feared and rejected out of hand
Can be accepted by a later people, welcomed home
With open arms and flying colors declaring love.
People are bright fires of candles and the wrath of a storm
They are the beauty of flowers blooming in a glass house
Or hiding, ready to burst out in a moment’s warmth, for now
Surrounded by freezing snow and killing winds shrieking.
People must be watched like flame and respected like storms.
Because if you do not listen when they cry out for warmth
You will kill that fragile bloom.
So words change,
And languages change,
And cultures change.
And people cry out the names they want to be called
Fights don’t change.
And every false-hearted ally of a long war
Joining at that last moment to receive the laurels and not the scars
To bear the red of ribbons not of blood,
Will use the argument of words and languages and cultures shifting
To claim their prizes over our dead
And we; the buried flowers of snow, howl like wind and burn like flame.
We will be called what we will.
We will take the names we find fitting to our statures and our souls.
We will do this whether or not
You decide we deserve it and we will always fight back against your attempt
To keep our reclaimed arrows
For the quivers of those who cruelly shot us down with them in the first place.
And our cry will echo the same
That is not a slur it is my name!