© 2019 by Renee Mitchell Speaks. All Rights Reserved.

   "Words have power.

Choose them wisely."

Stepping up, Signing Up

(c) 2014 S. Renee Mitchell

Photo by Giovanni Blair

certainly definitely unfortunately
this angst is not new or evening news

...it's happened so many times before...
...why does this keep happening…
...this just can't happen for no reason...


cries of justice denied is in the blood
that surges through our darkened limbs
generational grief is rancid, familiar, yawning
even the unborn smell our ancient worry

...somewhere deep in us, there's this fear
that what happened over there could happen here….
...happen to me or someone i know...
...happen again...


and so this despair woven so tightly with animosity
that you can't actually tell which one is leading the tango
fuels our need to reach beyond misgivings
to call and respond to our yearning for healing
to recognize our salvation lies within ourselves

...people are stepping up and signing up...
...we are stronger together...
...we need to help each other get through this…


heads nod in silent rhythm
knowing even without words
that we each are interpreting our collective pain
and translating that energy into hope

...it's not about being acceptable to other people
it's about holding our own space...


yes indeed
holding our own space
holding each other
holding on
til our change has come

she begins with a question
how do you feel

...surprised...
...disappointed...
...angry...


excavated words emerge
first, in ones and twos
then in families of related emotion

...i feel really upset...
...i feel really frustrated...
...i do not feel safe...
...i. am. scared...


soon, rivers of syllables

escape from youthful queer mouths
whose honesty is often forced to deny its truth
its jagged edges tumble

unobstructed and raw
seething with rage

...i don't trust the police...
...i don't give a damn about the police…
...where is the serving ….
...where is the protecting….


once safe space
flings opens its forgiving arms
souls conditioned to remain invisible
can no longer bear the burden of silence

...if i stay quiet, i betray me...

sequestered tempers unshackle their chains
and find an amen chorus greeting its release

...just because you mean well

doesn't mean you do better
and it is not my job to teach you...