Sufferage

Sufferage

For Cecilia Streett Waters, Mary D. Randolph, me, you, your mama, and your cousins too

 

Waiting for States to ratify any decision that would

even the playing field

Is like waiting for a snapping turtle to let go of its dinner.

There is too much money to be made in apartheid, segregation, isms, and inequity.

Corruption is profitable. 

People in power will kill before letting it go.

 

People who have never needed a 

separate Amendment to be included in the Constitution

always hoard rights when others 

begin to move about the country as freely as they do.

They argue that we who are beneath the boot stop wriggling

Stop biting at the ankles

Stop begging for breath.

They assume lesser evil of inaction is eventual action, but

both options are two roads that diverge in a yellow wood – both worn really about the same.

 

And we writhe beneath the weight of waiting.

 

In this swath of stolen land, we fight for the right to exist as entire humans.

100 years ago, we had to fight 

again 

to protect the right to decide who leads us.

Today we fight 

again 

for our very bodies.

 

Women have always fought in wars defending their tribes and themselves. The tapestry of American womanhood is garrisoned by women ancestors who took what was due them. By usurpers.  

 

We summon the energies of all of the women who inhabit the women of the USA. 

Colestah

Harriet Tubman

Deborah

Lozen

Tomoe Gozen

We call them up from the soil. 

Jael

Judith

Yennenga

Buffalo Calf Road Woman

Boudicca

We call them out of the waters.

Queen Summuratmat

Queen Vishpala

Artemisia

Nafanua

William Brown

We call them down from the sky.

Pine Leaf

Queen Nzinga

Queen Gudit

The Amazons

The Agoji

Help us avenge us for the sake of our daughters and our daughters’ daughters. 

One thought on “Sufferage

  1. All I can say is that you are really good. I love “The Holy of Holies,” and then I went on to “Blackberry Picking in Kentucky,” and “Wash Day.” Such lovely details. Such attention to the moment. Then, you wrote the devastating “DIY,” only to be followed by “Sufferage.” Wow! And I haven’t gotten to the second page yet. Wow!

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