Wednesday, November 16, 2005     « Delicate | Through Your Denials »


"and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid

So it is better to speak
we were never meant to survive.
-Litany for Survival by Audre Lorde

This is a great poem by Audre Lorde. I posted this a year ago but I find it helpful to remind myself of it when fear creeps in. I need to get some of her books. I bought a used book a little while back called, "Memory of Kin: Stories About Family by Black Writers" and found a poem by Ms. Lorde in there that really resonates with me called "Black Mother Woman." I'm hesitant about posting the entire thing, but the linked one has an error so...

I cannot recall you gentle.
Through your heavy love
I have become
an image of your once delicate flesh
split with deceitful longings.
When strangers come and compliment me
your aged spirit takes a bow
jingling with pride
but once you hid that secret
in the center of furies
hanging me
with deep breasts and wiry hair
with your own split flesh and long suffering eyes
buried in myths of no worth.

But I have peeled away your anger
down to its core of love
and look mother
I am
a dark temple where your true spirit rises
beautiful and tough as a chestnut
stanchion against your nightmares of weakness
and if my eyes conceal
a squadron of conflicting rebellions
I learned from you
to define myself
through your denials.
-Audre Lorde

« Delicate | Through Your Denials »