*TRIGGER WARNING – rape and violence are referenced in both videos.*
Friday evening I had the honor of live reading two of my poems at the biennial Native Omaha Days celebration. There is something very vulnerable about standing and delivering truth, nakedly and even if my voice shakes. My mantra is “by any authentic means possible.” Just take a step. Don’t worry about being “imperfect or unqualified.” Take that 1st shaky step, then stand up and deliver. All of the blessings lie on the other side of my fear.
I present “I Am From” and “That Girl”.
I AM FROM
I AM FROM an unwed mother and an absent father
I AM FROM a jailed brother and a dead brother
I AM FROM Clell and Eva, golden years interrupted by a child in need
I AM FROM abandonment and the land of NEVER ENOUGH.
I AM FROM high expectations, always met but NEVER ENOUGH
I AM FROM abuse and neglect, emotional, physical and sexual
I AM FROM rape, survival and hate
I AM FROM music – tribal drums, ebony and ivory, harp so sweet
I AM FROM cancer
The enemy within mixed with courage and cleansed with tears
I AM FROM LOVE
A choice I have made in how to live my life
To give what I most need, a blessing to be shared
I AM FROM art
Paint and pencils, glue and gesso
Truth prospecting for gold amidst the hustle
I AM FROM the Phoenix rising from the ashes
Awakening from her slumber to own her destiny
I AM FROM Enough
I always was
I AM FROM the rolling stone, no moss to gather
I AM FROM outside the box
I AM FROM the Divine
I AM FROM you and you are within me
I AM FROM Athena, beauty and wisdom
I AM FROM creation
Peace – just listen
I AM FROM the world, connected with breathe
I AM FROM mental illness – of challenge and glorious triumph
I AM FROM tears and blessons,
Boundaries and an open heart
I AM FROM together and drawn apart
I AM FROM the hairless sink and the hill to kill
I AM FROM the smokehouse in the pouring rain, old maid and the missing card
I AM FROM a twirling baton under the summer sky,
close and play record players and dancing outside.
I AM FROM Mormons, Catholics, Lutherans, athiests, agnostics, Buddhists and Wiccans
I AM FROM nature, not nurture
I AM FROM enough!
Forged by pain
I AM FROM the journey is as important as the destination
I AM FROM joy, love and self-worth
I AM going where my soul sings
The destination matters not
I AM FROM the rainbow pot.
© Paulissa Kipp 2013
THAT GIRL is not a flying nun
With habit flying so,
THAT GIRL is a soldier, not afraid to go
THAT GIRL is a daughter, shot, naked and left alone to die
THAT GIRL is a wife, carjacked at night
THAT GIRL is a mother, bound and tied
THAT GIRL is a grandmother, hear her cries
THAT GIRL is a student who didn’t lie
THAT GIRL is a human, just riding a bus
THAT GIRL, that girl — she’s one of us
THAT GIRL in the burqa
THAT GIRL on the street
THAT GIRL in the short skirt, not being discreet
THAT GIRL in the bar, dancing just so
THAT GIRL in the video – just a part of the show
THAT GIRL was raped
Did anyone know?
Did anyone care?
THAT GIRL her heart and body both were laid bare
Men claim we’re sexist for that which we share
It’s not MY fault, why should I care?
Caring does not require guilt on your part
It requires a conscience and it requires a heart
See that girl, she is us and we are she
The daughters, sisters, aunts, mothers, wives and grandmothers
Life depends upon these
Duty calls, the bells peal loud
Over the roar of a venomous crowd
Not upon THAT GIRL nor ANY GIRL
Will rape be allowed.
© 2013 Paulissa Kipp