I haven’t been here for awhile. I haven’t posted and I haven’t solicited postings. The thing about activism is this: sometimes you get tired, sometimes you feel like your efforts are insignificant, sometimes you feel like a failed feminist and you think “What can I offer anyone?”
Of course the answer is “Anything you have”. To listen. To tell your story. To share someone else’s story. To say to someone “I hear you”. To pick someone up when they fall. To wait when they say they’re not ready. To keep a lifeline open. To learn more. To ask “What can I do?”
And sometimes you need community. And sometimes community disappoints, like we all do. But we are ALL great. If even in a moment. And sometimes we just need someone to remind us that we are worthwhile, significant. That our small efforts do land somewhere.
Lynn Sweeting, who has been publishing Caribbean women’s writing for many years at the WomanSpeak Journal (yeah, I know, great minds and all that) sent me a facebook message one day and said “Simone, I want you to submit something to the journal. Your anti-violence voice is SO IMPORTANT, I want to showcase it.”
And so I submitted a poem I didn’t think would find a home anywhere else besides a journal like Lynn’s. And maybe someone reads it and it touches something; helps them see a situation with new eyes. So, even when we feel like we have nothing to give, someone reminds us that every little bit counts.
Etiquette for Fine Young Cannibals
A woman walks into a bar and says
What’s for dinner?
The bartender says
Ma’am, we don’t sell food here
She kicks off her high heels and sits on a stool
What about that bowl of cherries? You
think I’m a fool?
The bartender says
Those aren’t cherries, they’re women we’ve raped
The woman says
You think I’m a fool? I know the difference
between food and rape
Rape is bloody, is hung up in display cases
at the front of restaurants
People walk by and pick out the one
that looks overdone
have the waiters take it to the kitchen
chop it up and serve it with a side of white rice
Ma’am, says the bartender, this is an elite establishment
we don’t deal in dead. All our rapes are 100% guilt free
tiny bite-size murders
dressed in machismo and
left to ferment
in a bed of self-doubt