anchoring by tree

 

the-show-must-go-on

Times have been strange, uncomfortable, and pressured to give voice in the light of blatant injustices, both local and global. This poem, for now, sums it up….. {Thanks, Alice – you so often say what I cannot}. RM

On Stripping Bark from Myself
(for Jane, who said trees die from it)
“Because women are expected to keep silent about
their close escapes I will not keep silent
and if I am destroyed (naked tree!) someone will
please
mark the spot
where I fall and know I could not live
silent in my own lies
hearing their ‘how nice she is!’
whose adoration of the retouched image
I so despise.
No. I am finished with living
for what my mother believes
for what my brother and father defend
for what my lover elevates
for what my sister, blushing, denies or rushes
to embrace.
I find my own
small person
a standing self
against the world
an equality of wills
I finally understand.
Besides:
My struggle was always against
an inner darkness: I carry within myself
the only known keys
to my death – to unlock life, or close it shut
forever. A woman who loves wood grains, the color
yellow
and the sun, I am happy to fight
all outside murderers
as I see I must.”

-Alice Walker, from Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems 1965-1990 Complete

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