PastPresentFuture (9)

I choose Light in the midst of darkness. Always.

 

PastPresentFuture

 

i.
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

ii.
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

no poet content with seclusion, she
revels     in earth after a drumming
of rain     in giving over the boundary
of self to thought’s machine
she moves heel, hip, and crown
to a molecule’s music     to the first breath

iii.
imagine him, this impossible child of mine
skin rose-caramel, tipped eyes a velvet brown
the hearts of people will not leave him alone
a presumed weakness but his utter strength
body, mind, spirit     all pledged for the work
there in the darkness comes too light

after night, before day, he communes
in the soul’s realm some call dreams
with kinswomen who labored
unwilling bodies straining to deliver
their hope wrapped in flesh     with kinsmen
whose bodies fell like so much timber

the ones too who found a place to lay burdens
down amid the joy that finds us all: hands
to lighten toil and the rest after, food enough
for the day, laughter sudden and belly deep
the legacy of all ancestors gathered, knowing
the fight laid at his feet will come to an end

 

[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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