Poem by Julie Raymond
"I incorporated the spelling AFRIKA into my poem as a way of honoring the individual, the traditions, the being of individual women.  To remind myself that Africa is a far away place for me, but Afrika is a place women call home."
Thereís Something I Know About You. 
Today, I wept for the women of Afrika.
I heard what they are doing to you.
The news channel told me.
The atrocity cut my heart open. 
I bleed it onto this page
I grieve for your pain.
The suffering of your children.
The denigration of your bodies.
The control of your choices.
I am enraged! 
Women raped.
Women without guns.
Women tortured en mass.
Women taken. 
As if your bodies were territory.
As if your bodies were not living.
As if your bodies were not our own.
As if they have the power to deprive you of your will. 
I want to help.
I want to help stop your suffering.
I want you to smile.
I want you to thrive.
I want you to live without fear. 
What do you want? 
The gang of them
point a gun at your face
and require
or your life. 
The gang of them
beat you with rifle butts
when they are done.
Raping isn't enough. 
The gang of them
has not the courage
of  one woman
who chooses to go on.
The men who did this may think itís a holy act.
The men who did this may think itís an act of God.
The men who did this may think itís their right.
But thereís
something about you
something they donít know
something they couldn'tít possibly perceive
something we have in common.
I whisper it to you now
on the waves, and the wind,
that will come to you.
In the heartbeat of our Mother Earth
the whisper rises up.
Our ancient mothers call to us,
they remind us...
In their turn
they survived every event of human history.
Every rape, burning, pillaging, beating, displacement,
starvation, invasion, political power, torture
and natural disaster.
Legacy of strength.
Legacy of hope.
Legacy of love. 
Collecting firewood,
Collecting grass for the donkey
Collecting water where men wait
Perhaps to spare your husbands life
You go instead.
You go out among the Gangs of them
So you can care for what
you love. 
This is the Great Legacy of our ancient mothers.
The legacy women carry en mass.
The power to love and persevere.
Thereís something I know about you that they donít know.
You are a strong woman
You are already free
You were born holy and remain so to this day!
Your heart belongs to you. 
I have hope that things will change
I want to help you
I want to help stop the suffering.
I want you to smile.
I want you to thrive.
I stand with you.
What do you want sisters? 
I pray
for my Sisters in
Julie Raymond


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