I am bombarded yet I stand (Adrienne Rich, from Planetarium)
We don’t need thunder, anger or the conversion of galaxies to withstand --
if anything we are armed with ploughs, rakes, scythes and backs like hemp
Warfare visits light like mist, cold and frequent, then thunderous in the belly--
Drives us to link, chain a curtain, thatch a roof; braid vines into electrical cords
Our skirts are shredded into tourniquets; clog arteries resolute on lava, tidal wave--
Rocks crack like pumpkin seeds between our teeth, even in hollow mouths.
it’s nothing for women who cradle little ones between curtains of incursion--
we have birthed more than one dead son, brother, hostage, girl, flower, stone.
Forts have been built of silk and cement, each hand laying brick upon brick, hardening--
As the years pass, the beds sag aloneness; the graves are hollowed right below the breastbone
We are our own best weapons, the waiting hardens the calves, teaches us how to move—
while we are static, uncomprehending how the vastness of the sky can omit what we know
Stories are told but nothing as remarkable as the preservation of life when death lurks—
the sergeant asking the questions through the crack in the door our bodies are pressed upon
These days are not remembered, no names are evoked, our shadows slide down the wall unnoticed
We are seismic in our keening, this song, this story, told in whispers, forks the sky, unforgiven.
Causes Elmaz Abinader Supports