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Poem by Julie Raymond
tigressgaia@yahoo.com
"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
 
because
 
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
 
submission
 
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.
 
LOVING. 
 
  
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. 
 
  
Sisters. 
 
  
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.
 
Sisters. 
 
  
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? 
 
  
And
 
Tonight
 
I pray
 
for my Sisters in
 
Afrika.
 
####
 
Julie Raymond
tigressgaia@yahoo.com

 




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