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To the six who voted No,

I grew up in this town, was grown in this lawn, felt and fell often here, in this place, just like you.

I am not an outsider, because there is no outside, sure the New York Times picks on the Midwest, but still, they’re not outside, they remain inside – of capital, with Patriarchy, inside the economy born from white supremacy, inside the imagination of men with power, and inside the fear that names other, this, everyone has, especially you, and apparently them, too. 

Is it easier to hold defense? Or is that struggle the fantasy of the regressive white viewer, the one who sits, inside the frame, the picture window, watching the world change? We all know it’s easy to do – with the intense cold, the subscriptions, the salty fatted foods, but don’t forget, the way we lose is one way to remember, it is perhaps in failure to be whole that a nut can crack, finally, after so much time, pretending.

O Wausau, 

I write this to you, because many years ago, a girl in my high school died. She died too soon. And I wonder what she would think of you. If she’d have left like me, because all she could feel was her softest parts rubbing against your mean county lines. A border that separates me from the name of my birthplace. 

O Wausau,

When I lived in you, I carried a space of NO too, it was instilled like a hazardous pill covered in thick saliva, like a slow release, it took twenty years for me to recognize its shape. Now that you have told the world you are – a place for hate, with small gestures of disclaim, I wonder if you might recognize that this is not your stage, that this is not your world to name, and that what is missing in this letter matters most. 

And why not, Haters? 

Why not eat your words, resolve them to your insides, allow your stomach to encounter the truth of their matter, the poison making you high for a time, and then trampling your mood, intensifying your fears, singing like rotten bone. Feel the word-toxin push thru your intestines, forcing you to expel this self-induced violation, because words are weapons, and you’ve done a lot of damage. 

So, sure, eat your cake, but eat your words too. 

Love, 

Cara Siik, or The One Who Got Away – formerly of Wausau