Tag Archives: History

The Defendant Rises

It never got easier
The way obedience usually does,
It gets heavier each year.
I was here in the beginning:
The territory is changeless.
Wasn’t I submissive
When the pastor said my mom
Got beaten because she wasn’t?
If she weren’t a contentious woman
He wouldn’t have to raise his hand.
Didn’t I understand?
When my pastor wouldn’t talk to me
Because my gender forced sexuality
Just like my abusers proclaimed
I didn’t complain.
When I discovered he’d known, for years,
What they did to me in the dark,
But fearing speaking to me
He just let it be.
Then, when I finally took his advice
Found a nice boy; surrendered to yoke
He broke the plan; he broke my heart
He wouldn’t even witness the vow.
I was never really included then;
Nothing’s different now.
I submit to the pastor
My husband picked out
He preached Jezebel was hiding
Inside my soul
I tried cutting her out,
But I never found her
now I’m never whole.
I tried asking him for help
But I’m the most dangerous whelp
The Kingdom of Men knows:
A woman who actually wants to grow,
but they have butchered me all.

When I was still a little child
They dug my grown-up grave.
With open hands raised, they invited me come
A tender thing, trusting, I knelt so young
In the hole they scraped
I became the slave
and all the rest was left unsung.


Dammed

I was born into the flow,
The water from my mother’s womb
Rushed forth, followed by the tune
Of all the words I know.

And this river is always pounding
The banks of who I am,
Destroying any dam
Diminishing it’s expanding and expounding

By the time you came along
To a waterline risen
I was completely given
To the current’s song

And you supported me with one word,
But belittled me with the next,
So I read your subtext
And remained unheard

Eleven more years, the waters kept rising,
As we grew into each other,
You were comfortable with the smother,
And I’m skilled at compromising

But the waterline rose all the same
So you adjusted the box you keep me in,
I’m careful where I seep when
I walk around in your name.

Until the day we broke and
All of you entangled
In my flow, suddenly strangled
And forced me unspoken

But we worked our way back again,
I left my words on the stagnant floor
Growing up, heading inshore,
To walk in the land of men

And I’ve barely written since
The tide dried, words don’t persist,
But we still talk like they exist
In the present tense.

Yesterday I called it my work, to hear you say
“If it’s work, you need a new hobby,”
Somehow, it embodied
These years I’ve underplayed

I didn’t wince, or shirk,
I stood erect to face you
To speak my breakthrough
“It’s work; it’s my life’s work.”

All at once, I could see
How simple, how true,
And it doesn’t belong to you
And it doesn’t belong to me

I’m dammed
But it isn’t your fault
I’ve kept sealed my vault
I’ve held this ocean in my hand

Raging in my pen
All my life, I never called it by name
I looked for someone to blame
For the fear I live in

I made you my moon,
Giving you power over the sway
Of in and out, the tidal play
Where my words commune

But these words need the sun
Gold on shimmering waves
Daylight saves
And night should be overrun

But if I succeed,
Whatever success entails,
Or if I fail
The work I achieved

Is my legacy.


Histories

Oh the heavy history of man
Who collects his wars
Long after the land is divided again,
With nothing left to explore,
And the plunder has spoiled
In the storehouses.

All these years of ink and page, and
How can these habits come to gain
Reflecting with the written word,
But that brothers in ink still have their names
And some crude caricature of who they were
Ever still remains.