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This is how I let go.
This is how I let myself live free.
This is how I put the burden of generations down,
outside of me,
literally lay it down prone in the dust,
from which it gathered, beside me.
The dust is all the grief that came before me,
that fed this line of girl-children until
our heads hung with the weight of a shame
that had nested in the multitude of us, growing.
This is how I raise myself up beyond the history
(it was her story, too, he forced his on her)

with my voice,
with my voice upraised.
With my voice upraised and my head upraised
and my fist and my spirit that rattles on about
hope and about hope and about hope
My fist is adamance,
uncurled it is compassion, waving.
This is my girl-child strong.
This is my boy-child tender.
These are my children.
They are part of the song.

This is how I let go,
with that song that is not words but is
the sound of emotion, like the violin,
like the one egret, like the coyote at dusk;
a song without words but an upraising
all the same.
It is a glorious noise, this letting go
the grief unfurled, the shame exposed.
There are no words for these emotions
and yet they live until we sound them go
with whatever tools our trades offer.
A voice in the song, the funnel rush
like fire when hope whirls in and expands,
when you believe yourself
to love,
to be loved,

to be forgiven.

This is how I move on.
This is how I let myself live free.
This glorious noise,
stating and naming and claiming,
and then, letting go.
This voice.
It is love that saves us,
makes us new again
and again.
Hope is power.  Love is hope.
The joy in the song is the gratitude
to know hope (again),
once and for all.

I raise my head.
I raise my voice.

I survived
(Yes, you did, too.
I know.).

And now, we thrive.

© 1998, 2002, 2014 Dora E. McQuaid
From the Second, Expanded edition of the scorched earth and its compact disc companion the scorched earth: spoken.



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