worth repeating: we are the women (audio poetry 5:53)

Posters created by Shepard Fairey for Women’s March on Washington, January 21, 2017.

I first wrote this poetic piece in 2010; audio version was added April 2017. Your donation is always received with joy and appreciation. Thank You!

we are the women who squatted in the fields
who birthed our babies and anointed ourselves
with a splash of impure water
we are the ones who folded the tents, filled alabaster jars
gathered the oxen, the oils, the tambourine
and with venus perched low in the sky,
meandered through the night
toward uncertain destination

we are the women who have gnawed off
bleeding appendages
escaped from legholds and cages
draped in chiffon and lace,
plunged into icy waters to retrieve
forgotten pearls
walked through flames of inquisition,
grillings by self-pronounced judges and juries,
we were dragged to the gallows
for pledging allegiance to truth above all
and despite the shaming and the maiming,
our collective voice has never been silenced

we are the weavers, the healers,
the poets, the painters,
the mothers, the courtesans,
the daughters, the queens
the bringers of all that is lovely and alive,
we walk a tautened rope separating
genius and madness
labor every single day to bring forth
the ripe fruits of creation
drip and ooze with overflowing expression
straining for release,
and in exchange for our priceless offerings
to the soul of humanity
we are offered thimbles as containers
for torrential showers of unleashed passion,
meager restitution for the strip-mining of gemfields
aglitter with beauty and wisdom

we are the women who gave it all away every time,
compromised the tender blossoming of
our own interior gardens
to take up unsustainable positions
in an unrelenting world,
we willingly stuffed fragments of ourselves
into strawflat mattresses
and on back burners drained of fuel,
while we obscured the breadth and depth
of our illuminative splendor

we are the women who have been blessed
with a radiant grace
and damned as harlots, Eve, Delilah, Jezebel,
we carry ten thousand universes within our souls
and the knowings of eternity in every drop of our blood
we have been abandoned by fathers of damaged hearts,
mothers too tightly bound
in their own misbegotten apprehensions
sisters dead-set for battle in an
unholy match of acquisition

we are the women who have carried the light
since before time began
who donned the breastplate of warrior and
scoured the countryside in acts of holy triage,
we have eviscerated ourselves
in the face of twisted obligation
shrouded our all-seeing eyes from
mirrors of authentic reflection
danced on floors littered with poisoned slings
and arrows that missed their mark,
and continued to love in the face of
unspeakable predatory maraudings
of the spirit

we are the women who once agreed
to spread emergent starlight
over a scorched and burning earth
and we will not relinquish our original instructions

sanctified by divine contract and condemned
by the meek and frightened,
at once scorned for being too much yet
diminished for being not enough,
we are the women who dance with the moon
cavort with fairies and roughhouse with stallions
and we will not relinquish our original instructions

we are the women who will live on, remain standing
long after others have fallen under the weight
of their own perceived predominance

we will not crumble
we will not fall

we are the women

One thought

  1. I could not listen to the audio at the moment, however, I must say the labor you call upon in this writing was not laborious to read. I think this piece is remarkable. There’s a blip in my generation that for some reason doesn’t hold on tight to the feminism which is always under attack.

    But most spectacular about your work here, is the way you have mastered the art of the journey. You take the reader through the pain of birth, or hard labor in fields, in a time without medicine, without tools, a time when giving birth was truly a dangerous sacrifice for every mother with no options for control or choice, without neglecting the softness and the uniquely feminine aspects of sisterhood, motherhood, and emotional exhilaration that are at our fingertips. Those parts of being a woman that we had never lost are truly gifts.

    I really love this piece. I love the humanity. I’m happy you shared it with me. ♥


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s