I have roots, but they do not breathe the dirt.
They bleed into the air like lightning
Flooding the world with light and sound.
They are coarse and rough, weathered and blistered.
They reach like wings beyond the bow of my back
And my mother’s back, and her mother’s before her.
I have roots, but they do not rest in one place
Rotting like the flesh of the dead.
Of men who moaned at the change wrought by painted hands,
The men who fell before the might of the sun we bore
From loins that carried the nectar forward
Always farther than they could imagine.
I have roots, but they are not woven to the earth
They spread like spilled hopes across the night sky
Far brighter and far hotter than those that fade.
Even those that perished eons ago still catch the eye,
Still glow for those behind me to follow,
Seeds in this garden that will only ever grow
We all have roots.
Our grandmothers dug them with beating hearts and trembling hands
Against tides we can only see as ink splotches on the history page.
They marched and screamed, clawed and cried.
On their legacy, we stand to sow new paths
No matter which man may say we have not earned them.
Let them lust for the past while we surge forward.
Let them cower as we redefine who we are and what we are
To include those silenced by their stuttered heat.
We are women, of all colors, of all shapes, of all bold definitions,
And our battles are never simple, never easy, never finished
But together we have roots.