(Poem) Defiance by Mary Saracino

Graffiti on seawall at Provincetown wharf http://telling-secrets.blogspot.com.au/2010/07/i-made-kate-clinton-laugh.html
Graffiti on seawall at Provincetown wharf

I was bred to appease,

close the gaping mouth of desire,

a child speaking in the foreign tongue of docility

relying on conforming consonants,

denying voracious vowels their due,

jailing truth behind clenched teeth,

taut lips, a shaking, frightened heart.


Even then something inside refused to cooperate,

prowled the dark alleyways of muscles

scrawling thick, bloody letters on the walls of my veins,

staining the bedrock of sinew with graffiti;

something stood proud like a furious flag,

calling for revolution;

something howled: “I am not for sale.”


Even under the sullied breath of childhood

I sometimes whispered whole sentences of insubordination,

befriended the slang of dissension,

quietly at first, then more confidently,

questioning each syllable that stuttered across my startled mouth;

all that my voice withheld, my relentless heart demanded.


Long miles from youth to now ripened into insurgence

not anarchy for its own selfish sake,

not lawlessness, but justice breaking free.


The years ferried me past complacency,

away from the shoreline of orthodoxy,

beyond the borderlands of muteness,

far from the places where a woman’s silence

is her best kept secret,

where she must always know her place,

abdicate her will,

keep her mouth shut.


Now rebel nouns and verbs dance

upon the tender tip

of my tenacious tongue.


A woman must always ignite her voice,

speak of her hunger, satisfy the ache of purpose

that gives birth to defiance,

suckle it to her breast, tend to it

as if it were the last child on Earth,

the only hope for humanity’s survival

because it is.


Meet Mago Contributor Mary Saracino.

We, the co-editors, contributors, and advisers, have started the Mago Web (Cross-cultural Goddess Web) to rekindle old Gynocentric Unity in our time. Now YOU can help us raise this torch high to the Primordial Mountain Home (Our Mother Earth Herself) wherein everyone is embraced in WE. There are many ways to support Return to Mago. You may donate to us. No amount is too small for us. For your time and skill, please email Helen Hwang (magoism@gmail.com). Please take an action today and we need that! Thank YOU in Goddesshood of all beings!

(Click Donate button below. You can donate by credit card or bank account without registering PayPal. Find “Don’t have a PayPal account?” above the credit card icons.)

3 thoughts on “(Poem) Defiance by Mary Saracino”

  1. As always from this writer, BRILLIANT use of language to express extremely important ideas.

  2. The strength and bone truth of this poem thrills me each time I read it. This poem is one of many reasons I calling Mary one of my respected and loved, of my Sistren. Thank you, Mago.

Comments are closed.