PastPresentFuture (5)

“If they won’t let you join their game, make your own. When they see how much fun you’re having, they’ll ask to join your game.”

I thank my mother for those words. They have saved me many years of heartache and formed my best #pastpresentfuture.






see her, hips rounded like a pear
rounded like mine, blackbrown as earth
the swaying bounce of her step muted
enough, she prays, to pass unnoticed
she will fight to keep her body hers
a fight she knows she cannot win

afterwards, she re-collects pieces of self
among the torn striplings of cloth
left on her body and the floor beneath
welts bloodied black rise with vengeance
she, artist of earth, finds in this alien world
old ways to heal, new ways to hurt

now that she is an unwilling favorite
there is yet another soul, eyes shining
the deepest onyx in a face (un)like hers
holding her spirit to this wretched place
heart-torn, she cannot steep the tea
whispered of among women, cannot drink it



hear her, wrestling these words
into incantations strong enough
to tilt the world on its axis, for she
knows our time is a planck
in a galaxy of time, knows too many
gave flesh and spirit for her chance

she uses the blank page, looking
glass and window onto a life      hers
marking territory with   I, me, mine
back turned on their rejection
of all that makes her human     strong 
and brown     drawing them into her

[If you’re enjoying my poems, why not check me – Brenda Joyce Patterson – out on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and my website. Or sign up for my newsletter.]

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