cafenowhere: coffee cup with sugar packets that read WTF (sending love)
[personal profile] cafenowhere
As part of the Days of Action to support Bresha Meadows, currently in Trumbull County Juvenile Detention Center for defending herself and her family, I've written a poem. When I tried to write about the abuse Bresha endured and what she'd been forced to do, my thoughts kept veering off into escapist fantasies. The truth is, this 14-year-old girl was forced to confront a viciousness so terrifying, most adults can't look at it head-on. I certainly can't.

If you are so moved, please share my poem (with proper attribution) and a link to the #FreeBresha blog.


To #FreeBresha Meadows, and Myself


Respect demands
I tell your story straight
unembellished
exactly as it happened
exactly as brave as you were
as you had to be
through years of abuse
the gun in your face
then in your hands
to protect yourself, your family.

Is it the writer in me
that burns to revise your tragedy
to send a spaceman
silver-suited from the future
to save you from the screams?
To  unleash a dragon
fire-mouthed and dagger-clawed
to defend you, or sneak
a singing sword beneath your bed
help you sever unholy bonds?

Or is it the mother in me
who yearns to twist your tale
to happily ever after
by stroke of luck or fairy dust
hook or crook?
Anything to transform
the garbage the agencies gave you
into a swift carriage to sunnier days
those rats who betrayed you
into footmen at your mercy.

Or is it the girl inside me
the one who watched Dad
drive Mom to tears
who clapped when he clapped
thinking it some game?
Who, years later, watched him corner
a new wife, his hand raised to smack?
Screaming, running,
I lured the wolf from his rampage
but still he ruled the forest.



Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Date: 2016-10-06 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] asakiyume.livejournal.com
That's beautiful. I hope somehow she can learn of it. Maybe Mariame Kaba will share it with her.

Date: 2016-10-07 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cafenowhere.livejournal.com
Thank you. I imagine Bresha has way too much on her mind to be bothered with my poem.

Still, I can't help but think, if the authorities handling her case reflected similarly, empathized, she'd already be free. And art can be one way to jolt people into seeing new perspectives.

Date: 2016-10-06 06:30 pm (UTC)
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
From: [personal profile] gwynnega
This is really powerful.

Date: 2016-10-07 04:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cafenowhere.livejournal.com
Thank you.

I can't understand how anyone can consider what this girl's been through and not be rattled down to their foundations. To compound her tragedy by imprisoning her is bureaucratic evil.

Date: 2016-10-06 07:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] madresal.livejournal.com
Powerful poem.

Date: 2016-10-07 05:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cafenowhere.livejournal.com
Thank you. I hesitated to share it, not wanting to make this all about me and my feels. But I really do think if folks allowed themselves to be similarly vulnerable, to empathize, to react with all axes of their identity, Bresha would be free.

Date: 2016-10-08 07:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mnfaure.livejournal.com
I'm glad you did share it. Because I don't follow the news, I have no idea what case you are talking about, and I admit to my cowardice in not clicking through the links to find out more. Just from your description, I know my current rawness doesn't want to go there.

But I am glad I read your poem.

Date: 2016-10-09 04:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cafenowhere.livejournal.com
That's a totally valid choice on your part, and one I completely understand. Thank you for reading the poem, and taking a moment to talk with me about it. <3

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