Friday, July 19, 2013

Poem to Take Back the Night



What about moonlight

What about watching for the moon above
the tops of trees and standing
still enough to hear the raucous crickets
chittering invisible among the soon lit stones
trick pinpoints of positions even poise
sustained in solitary loss

What about moonlight
What about moonlight

What about watching for the moon
through the windows low enough to let the screams
and curses of the street the gunshots
and the drunken driver screeching tires
and the boom box big beat and the tinkle
bell ice cream truck
inside

What about moonlight
What about moonlight

What about watching for the moon
behind the locked doors and bolted shut bedrooms
and the blind side of venetian blinds and
cowering under the kitchen table and struggling
from the car and wrestling head
down when the surprise when the
stranger when the surprise when the
coach when the surprise when the
priest when the surprise when the
doctor when the surprise when the
family when the surprise when the
lover when the surprise when the
friend when the surprise

lacerates your throat
constricted into no
no more sound

who will whisper
what about moonlight
what about moonlight

What about watching for the moon
so far from where you tremble
where you bleed where you sob
out loud for help or mercy for
a thunderbolt of shame and
retribution where you plead
with God and devils with
the creatures in-between
to push the power key
and set you free
from filth and blasphemy
from everything you never wanted to feel
or see

to set you free

so you could brush your teeth
and comb your hair and maybe
throw on a jacket
or maybe not

you running
curious and so excited and
running and running into the
night
asking only asking

What about the moonlight
What about the moonlight

~June Jordan
www.junejordan.net
Painting by Elisabeth Slettnes

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