I look into the mirror and trace lines of my ancestry; my jaw holds words unspoken from the mouth of my mother and her mother and her mother before, words that are wild and reckless and mighty.
I open my jaw as if to unearth, to shake and dust the dirt off used to bury these bones.
I scan the shape of my mouth, lips that have loved, lied, remained closed and baited with syllables and sentences that change lives, leave hearts broken, truths honoured; words that give rise to ruling minds, words that radiate and echo into future generations from the aperture of the earth, words that refuse to stagnate any longer.
My eyes follow the shape of my neck and I wonder when your words, her words, our words besieged in our throats, suffocating on patriarchy like the brittle air from winters frost.
“When!?”, I shriek aloud, the sound reverberates through the house, my heart and soul, tears streaming down my face unthawing the ice within.
“When!?”, I dialogue with unknown sources, with patterns of power, threatening the silence with questions.
When will our words dance like fire and soothe like rain, when will they awaken sleeping Giants, give wings to legged creatures and give light to hidden shadows?
When will we stop waiting for the sound of hoofed beasts to ring and clamor in the courtyard, cleaved to fairy tales that disempower, disengage and dissemble.
Many women have been politely waiting; waiting for men, waiting for other women, waiting to speak, waiting for their turn, waiting for permission and I wonder when I was taught to wait, to be polite, to shut up.
I look into the mirror and a smile emerges on my face and every woman in that instance smiles too, liberated from the silence of her lineage and lighter if only for but a moment.
Photo Credits: Jennifer Brazil + Mandy Joy Glinsbockel