Tag Archives: Protest Poetry

When Consoling Sybrina and her Sisters

19 Mar

Last month Tracy and Sybrina joined the congress of survivors
and it’s not that boys are worth more than girls,
no not at all. Without life givers we cease to exist.
It’s more that testosterone drives us, seeks out
all we wish to discover, adventure, and conquer.

When mothers yield boys fathers rejoice in
the preservation of their names, their likeness,
their vigor and fame but mothers take a beat back,
pondering, “How will we raise him? Protect without
enveloping him, shelter without sheltering him?”

So mothers sleep a little lighter, pray a little longer,
toiling until tired just to ensure that this root survives
strangling weeds and sometimes fetid soil pushing through
to wrangle himself into a strong veiny oak or maybe celestial redwood.
Then imagine her squalls when someone cuts the young plant down.

Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t always happen amidst a crowd,
with bare knees bloodied on war torn street corners, stained in beer and piss,
quarantined off with yellow hazard tape. No-
Sometimes it comes six months later, hovering over the shopping cart,
as she reaches for his favorite box of sugar high cereal.

The wail comes from the uterus and draws its volume from the diaphragm.
Her back contorts, arching up and concave to support the siren’s power and
alleviate the heart’s waning blood supply and the lungs’ lack of oxygen. The lyrics
are foreign to human ears, communicating solely with sinew, cells, gods and angels.
What comforts a wound so fresh, bleeding out as the spindly plant withers in her arms?

No such elixir exists because no potion soothes a stolen womb. Offer prayers and carry her burdens while she marks endless mornings without hearing “mommy.” Make no sense of the senseless, only memories of love and kindness mending what’s left of her heart.

Copyright Asani Charles 3/24/2012

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