Sunday, September 26, 2010

sticks and stones may break my bones but words...

I wrote this, i suppose it's a journal entry more than a poem, during class fall 2009 and then rewrote it fall 2010.

I'm grateful. Something woke me up.
How painful it is to know my luxury is connected to another's poverty.
or to repeatedly be made aware of my ignorance,
or to recognize that i can get married but some of my friends and family cannot.
And even more painful to feel that the more i know, the more i realize i will never know.
But let me clarify what kind of pain. it is the discomfort of pulling off the blindfold, and that is why I see it as a blessing.
Not the kind of blessing that God rewards good christians, but the kind that reminds me im human.
it requires me to SIT in the pain, it challenges me not to run from uncomfortable thoughts and situations.

Just when i want to put the blindfold back on and fall into a deep sleep,
just when i mistake my own thoughts for the ones i've been taught to think...
Relentless discomfort faithfully wakes me.
Not only does she wake me, but she says:
Reclaim! Reclaim the words that have been used to convince you femininity is objective,
reclaim the systems that teach our children to fear anything that threatens the white American dream,
reclaim the institutions that only support marriage if it's between a MAN, a WOMAN, and the CHURCH,
reclaim the notion that things are the way they are for good reason, and they always will be,
reclaim the lie that if we are all created equal then we have equal opportunity,
reclaim the media that convinces us Success looks something like a CEO, his trophy wife, and 3 children.
pardon me but, Fuck that-
I was raised by a single mother on welfare who not once, but twice, pulled herself off the streets and out of the underworld where those who've succumbed to selling themselves for crack, reside. (without a the help of a husband might i add)
THAT, is success.
it is the opposite of excess- it is doing much with very little and doing it with love.
How backwards our values can be!

So let us start by reclaiming the words that have been tainted and robbed of their beauty-
When i hear the word "God" i want to think of peace rather than patriotism.
When i see the word "Freedom" i want to remind myself that this country places freedom as a value above human lives.
When i hear the word "Community" i want to think of unity not uniformity.
i know you have words to reclaim too,and by that i mean...the words meaning is not held in a dictionary, but rather in people.
so Let us not just be a generation that just shakes our fists in defiance
-though there is a time and a place for it -
but let's also be one that redefines the truth, beauty, and goodnessthat has been robbed of our humanity...starting with the robbers.