Notes on a community in transition.

Wither thou goest I may or may not follow.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


The Board resigned one night;
the next day the Church shut down
the youth night-shelter,
home of Change Now in
Norfolk United.

They fired the staff
without explanation,
giving birth
to a bestiary of rumours
about what sins or crimes
the staff may or may not
have committed
to warrant their fate,
serpentine speculations that made
their way through the downtown core

as the post-mortem proceeded to
the process which led
to the youth-in-crisis operation
reopening soon under the auspices
of all the proper authorities
and with the involvement of the kids.

The old staff have been told
they need not apply,
a position taken
without stated cause,
without public disclosure of
their presumed failings
or faults,
without mercy or justice
and without a protest
by the co-opted teens whose
cause the workers once defended
against all comers.

And still no one
will say what sin or crime
the old staff committed or omitted:
it's as if they have been condemned
by conspiracy, banished by a cabal
by those who prefer the sounds
of their mutual self-congratulations
to the cadences of grace.

And the lesson of the day
for congregated Guelph
is how to sacrifice
to institutional expediency
while doing good.

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