Sacred Heritage of X

Despite what you’ve heard
women run the world
and everyone knows it
except women

Men need women
children need women
women need women
The World has ventured too far
past the point of no return
we are the dying canaries
choking in the coal mine
the ragged spring honeybees
searching in vain
for nectar

Listen

We are your women
Our bodies bear witness
to the multiple failings
of The World
our thyroids fade
where our voices strain
our cells turn cannibal
devouring our Selves
we falter, exhausted
stumble on, pharmaceutically
we forget names
of loved ones
yet still expected to remember
all of his-story

Understand

Our granddaughters will re-member our bones
with pity and awe-full pride
just as we ponder our grandmothers
wondering – how did they do it?
Endure, push forward, maintain
stay sane, sometimes thrive
manage a smile
wear those uncomfortable
garments?

Wonder

What will our granddaughters say?
We are not machete, plow
or icebreaker
clearing a path
for others to follow
We are tangled forest, fertile earth
abundant ocean
standing firm
between path clearings
Our generation
holds back further erosion
toxification
desalination
We are neither stone nor rocket
We are catapult and launchpad
critical yet quiet
we hold steady
and wait

Recognize

We have tried to write the whole book
honor our deprived mothers and
illiterate grandmothers
make up for their lost time
now in our mid-summer
our change
our charge
is to get our paragraph right
prepare for irrelevance
we are but a bridge

Know

Our granddaughters will marvel at our bones
our stamina and courage
their hardier flesh and nimbler Spirits
will know
they couldn’t have made it without us
even if their minds forget
because
they will be too busy
running The World.

© S. Rinderle, 2015
~ For ka ~

the meaning of life

My life means nothing
to the world

White men still murder Black women
in church
even after sitting in their pews
Confederate flags still fly
at full mast
in the aftermath
Politicians still lie
with their black eyes
and gun powder lips
Dim-witted masses
still cheer wild and blind
for their Savior

They want me to think
my life means nothing
to the world
Their gnashing teeth savor
my beaten-down bones
and tired flesh
My fierce optimism and tender heart muscle
nourish the fiery acid
of their putrid bellies
like forsaken bodies
in concentration camp ovens

I will become poison in their bowels
refuse to break down
kick my way out the other end
intact and fortified
I will shake off their filth
like a muddied dog
The growing throng
of kind hands around me
will midwife my rebirth
the pushing out of this rotting membrane
of constriction and intimidation
I will continue to speak truth
now turned up louder
I have been forged in the crucible
of their patriarchal terror
their shortsighted self-serving
smallness

I am Bigger than that.
We are BIGGER than that.
They are a blip
on the radar screen of history
a burp
during a long banquet of progress
long view trajectory over time
of increasing freedom and equity
We are the future
we won’t live to see
it doesn’t matter because
#OurLivesMatter
to our children

I don’t know what happens when we die
no one does
those who profess this knowledge
accept a comforting deception
to stave off this uniquely human affliction
this recognition
we are mortal

Meanwhile
if my life means nothing to the world
I will make it profoundly meaningful
to me
It will be a radiant statement
that NO I was not complicit
in our self-annihilation and
YES I was afraid but

NO!

I was not silent
and I did not lie
still.

© S. Rinderle, 6/20/15

Corajuda

The curandera 
laid hands on my belly and said
tú eres muy corajuda, ¿verdad?
I don’t think I was as startled
by her observation of the subtle anger
and hot-temperament
living in my organs as she kneaded them
as I was unnerved by my brain’s response
the brief headline flashing across my prefrontal cortex
shifted from “no, I’m not!”
to “how did she know?”
while my downstairs brain
just put up its dukes
and started to fight.

I’m not as interested
in writing about all the things
I’m angry about
or angry at
and how I have
excellent reasons and outstanding references
at this point giving them words
makes them hotter
expanding their presence in my ribcage
anchored in by hooks that stretch
their resilient mucoid bodies
from one rib to another
inside my hollow trunk
where somehow a heart
still manages a steady rhythm
like a volcano
that makes no sound
yet seethes and cooks
boiling silently
telling itself eruptions
are socially unacceptable
and alienating
allowing the molten toxins
to flow inside instead.

Once my brainstem is activated
it starts yelling over
the stories I tell myself
rational explanations
for why this unsettling
and unjust situation
feels so awful
or why it even exists
in the first place
bracing myself for the repeat
of some past trauma
or abandonment
feeling completely
out of control
unable to affect the outcome
feeling helpless about my own
reactions
and inability to handle
whatever.

So no
I’m actually not
helpless
I’m slowly awakening
from my coma of impotence
But yes
I guess
soy muy corajuda
I do store anger in my liver and bones
you see
I have excellent reasons
and outstanding references.

© S. Rinderle, 2013