in this church, that synagogue, in this Edmonton of ours
arms open wide to embrace all who enter
yet mouths do not proclaim
signs never tell, websites omit
are welcome letters
in these spaces hidden in our city
poem by rob goetze
Edmonton has places that are known to be welcoming to all people, and places that are known for being excluding. This poem is about places that are embracing yet few people know, because these places do not clearly articulate that they value and embrace diverse people, and hoping that these places will make themselves known….
I submitted this poem to the Fall 2016 Poetry Route poem competition which was part of the 2016 Edmonton Poetry Festival. The theme was "unknown Edmonton". Submissions were limited to a maximum of ten lines of ten words each, to ensure that the poems will fit on bus posters.
The competition received 156 entries. While my poem was not one of the four winners, it did make it into the shortlist of twenty four.
More info on Poetry Route competition.