The Hallmark channel is on again. I pour a glass of wine. I search for something positive to say. I’ve always thought of myself as an optimist, but these days are dark. Winter is an apt metaphor for the state of our country. I am carrying a weight of pessimism that I find too heavy and hard.
So I turn to my passion, poetry. Poetry is like prayer for me. I go inside my thoughts and work to make some sense of them.
Laura Shovan is getting ready for her annual February poetry project. She has built a Facebook group. It’s a closed group, but if you ask, you can join. We are a bunch of liberals looking for ways to make sense of the news by taking 10 words from a current news report and writing poetry.
On Saturday, I found an empty journal on my shelf. It is quite beautiful, a gift from someone, I’m sure. The title reads, “Personal Journal with Quotes & Art by Women.” I decided to use this book to pen the poems I am writing for Laura’s challenge. On this page I share below is a sculpture called “Invocation” by Edith Schaller. I wrote a poem for the January 25th warm-up using ten words from Janet Mock’s Women’s March speech. I am not accustomed to being outspoken, political, or radical. I am uncomfortable in this position, but I find solace in poetry, in writing, in words.
I am my sister’s keeper.
I hold her body.
I am committed to this work
of loving and comforting,
feeling safe and sensitive.
I refuse to crawl deeper into poverty,
refuse to give up all that we have fought for.
I will not be invisible or neglected.
But his words tear at a core
I fear is weak. My liberation
is linked to my resolve
to not be moved, to hold fast.
Why must I turn into a revolutionary?
I once was a peaceful woman,
teaching, learning, writing,
minding my own business.
Why must I be confrontational?
Someone who has written herself
into this story of marches,
signs and petitions?
Sister, help me be this new me.