A poem while I work on some others

I’m working on some new poems for The Revolution today, and letting a couple of ideas for hymns/congregational songs simmer in the back of my brain (and heart), but in the meantime I wanted to share this poem I wrote several years ago as a manifesto (which word I have just looked up … a public declaration of intention, objective, or motive … and seems most appropriate).

“Sometimes I Wonder”
Moira Finley, August 2012 & revised August 2013

in the small hours of the night
when the voices
of a million screaming women
keep me from sleep,
I wonder what it would be like
if we all just sat down
and stopped
because we’d finally had enough.

If we gathered up
our saris and burkhas,
nursing bras and corsets,
cotillion dresses and uniforms,
our suits and G-strings,
running clothes and pyjamas,
jeans and habits,
and settled ourselves in
for a nice long wait
until the world finally admitted
that enough was enough,
that rape must come to an end.

I dream of that day,
when over a cup of tea,
or coffee or simply cool clear water,
we calmly state our demands.

We require a world where we teach
that you should not rape
instead of how to avoid being raped;
that every person is sacred
and deserves to be respected,
to have their own voice,
a right to the sanctity and dignity
of their own bodies,
to an education and
the encouragement to use
their minds, their hearts, and their souls,
to follow their dreams.

We require a world where
girls and women can safely
walk down the street
wearing a bikini or a hijab,
and sit in their own homes,
without fear that their
bodies and hearts and souls
would be torn apart
by the violation of someone else’s anger,
by the hatred of someone’s violence,
by the searing pain of rape
which will follow them,
endlessly replaying
in their hearts and minds,
for the rest of their lives;
and where this is equally true
for boys and men.

We require a world where
our daughters and sons
never feel compelled to cooperate
with things that make them
hate their bodies,
at the hands of those
they should be able to trust;
where power over others
is a memory best to be forgotten.

I wonder what would happen
if the labourers in the fields,
office workers and nurses,
teachers and store clerks,
business owners and farmers,
mothers and grandmothers,
athletes and firefighters,
all of them women,
simply stopped and sat down
and demanded a world of peace,
a world free from rape and violence,
from shame and degradation,
from buying and selling human flesh,
from oppression and tyranny.

Would it matter?
Would the world notice?
Would it change anything
if more than half the world
failed to show up for work one day?
Would our strength be praised,
or our bravery condemned?

Would the men we love,
who say they love us,
take a stand with us,
use their voices and their power
on our behalf,
to advocate for us,
to share our dream,
to help create it?

as the first rays of dawn
creep through my bedroom window,
I wonder what it would be like
if there were no more voices
crying in the night,
no more lives torn apart by rape,
and what it would be like
if the dream came true.

One thought on “A poem while I work on some others

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