How can a woman with no face have a voice?
When draped in silk or defaced by acid,
she speaks to us of her man’s attempts
to exert a mythical power.
When distorted through blows
she cries out for help and condemns us
when through shocked apathy we do too little.
Yet hear her roar of acclamation when her children excel
though she never had the chance to grace a school-room.
Listen to the echoes of her encouragement
reverberate through their confidence, or lack of it.
Her cheerful chorus to the rhythmic pounding of the soil,
or to the scrub and bubble of her washing in the distant stream,
sings an aria that proclaims her invincibility. She will NOT be silenced.
Return to Raising Her Voice and Other Poems.