I wrote this poem about healing through our mothers, particularly from the pain of sexism and racialized gender violence.

Take a little dirt from the ground
Press your hands in firmness
Drizzle some of your mother’s
Milk into its cracks
Wet the places where it seems
Hard and broken
Lay the pile of mud
Onto your skin
Rub the salve
Into your shoulders
Massage it into your breasts
Kneading earth and river
Into your arms and legs
Dig your toes into the ground
Burrow them beneath the dirt
Feel the coolness of it settle into you
Touch your back to the leaves
And soak the dew into your hair
Take back your body
From the men
Who convinced you it could never be yours
Plant your forehead
To the earth
Your mothers lie here
In this ground, with their strengths
Knotted to the roots of grand oaks
Take them, and let them heal you

© Ama Akoto (2018)

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