Monday, June 2, 2014

To My Sisters, by Monica Day

I heard this poem recited on a recording of an intensive for women & the power of it hit me so hard I had to pull my car to the side of the road & cry for 5 minutes. I cried again reading it on her website 

I believe we are at a new crossroads as women that *includes* absolute gratitude for the Feminist Movements that have come before; that *includes* absolute gratitude & Respect for the women who are our mothers & grandmothers & aunts & great grandmothers (and their male allies), and ALL that it took for those women to rise & create the future we live in now.

AND, it *includes* the next step, which is so vulnerable: to take each other's hands; to own, as she says, that 'we are the motherloving majority' & that our rights cannot be taken from us when we are truly united....

To My Sisters, By Monica Day

*as performed at the Unite Against the War on Women rally in Harrisburg on 4.28.12.

Welcome my sisters
to Unite Against the War on Women
I come here today based on just one word, UNITE
I come here to give voice to our struggles, our victories, our defeats
I come here in celebration of our potential
in memory our ancestors
in honor of our children
I come in love
But I also come to this unique point in time
when the present feels like the past
when the future feels riddled with
ancient problems re-surfacing
and if I am to also come in truth
then I must say, I come in anger
in disappointment
I come shaking my head
at how much we are forgetting
at how much we are willing to give up
at how we take the same bait, and have the same fight,
over and over
at how we have drawn the same old battle lines
along the contours of genitalia
as if this identifies friends and enemies with any accuracy
at how we continue to be distracted by bullies
at how we continue to act as if our rights can be taken
we are the motherloving majority
in fact, if you consider that every single human being on this planet
was delivered through the legs
held by the hands
nursed at the breast
loved by the heart
of one of us
then we are already the ones in charge
and I can’t fathom
we continue to ask permission
we feel obliged to uphold this system
we fight when we have already won
we do not see our power
we entertain fools
we turn on each other
the first person who called me a slut
was not a famous radio personality
or a member of Congress
or even a boy I liked at school
but rather it was the girl
who liked the boy
I liked at school
that’s right
we are sisters to a point
that point usually stops
at the foot of a man
whatever man wears our collar
on the third finger of his left hand
our sisterhood ends on the button
that secures his jeans
let’s be honest
my sisters
it is our relationship with one another
that is tenuous
our genitalia doesn’t define our friendship
anymore than it defines this
supposed war
so let’s stop hiding behind it
let’s admit
that we’re not so sure of one another
let’s admit
that it’s easier to go to war
than it is to love
let’s admit
that it’s more familiar to fight for our freedom
than it is to live with it
let’s admit
that we may have learned how to survive
but we have not yet
learned how to thrive
let’s admit
that we do not
see ourselves clearly
when we look in the mirror
let’s admit
that the answer is not in Washington DC
or in this Capital Building
but it is in our homes
in our bedrooms
among one another
it is in our ability to stop cutting each other off
and leaving each other out
and judging each other’s choices
and letting each other struggle
and forgetting who we are
it is in our willingness to
claim our wisdom
own our sex
languish in our vulnerability
to teach what we know about love
and know there is enough to go around
our strength lies in remembering
that we know how our bodies work
that we can say ‘no’ with force
and ‘yes’ with abandon
and we can speak the direct truth
and we know with undeniable certainty
that no law, no declaration, no panel, no religion
has enough power to stand against us when we are truly united
and we can admit that if we are falling
it is not because we got pushed down
but because we let go
of each other’s hands
© Monica Day

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