A Litany for Survival


For those of us at the shoreline

standing upon the constant edge of decision

crucial and alone

for those of us who cannot induldge

the passing dreams of choice

who love in doorways coming and going

in the hours between the dawns

looking inward and outward

at once before and after

seeking a now that can breed

futures

like bread in our children’s mouths

so their dreams will not reflect

the death of ours:

For those of us

who were imprinted with fear

like a faint line in the center of our foreheads

learning to be afraid with our mother’s milk

for by this weapon

this illusion of some saftey be found

the heavy-footed hoped to silence us

For all of us

this instant and this triumph

We were never meant to survive.

And when the sun rises we are afraid

it might not remain

when the sun sets we are afraid

it might not rise in the morning

when our stomachs are full we are afraid

of indigestion

when our stomachs are empty we are afraid

we may never eat again

when we love we are afraid

love will vanish

when we are alone we are afraid

love will never return

when we speak we are afraid

our words will not be heard

nor welcome

but when we are silent

we are still afraid.

So it is better to speak

remembering

we were never meant to survive.


lorde

Audre Lorde