we rise

Posted on Thursday, October 2, 2014

Each morning we rise the same way.
Our footsteps tiptoe along damp floorboards
Careful not to walk too loudly
As to please the one that wipes the dust left from days before.

We take these tired feet into the world
Cover them with straps, secure Velcro, lace sneakers,
Slip our insecurities
Into the safety of hiding our true selves.

We carry on, like all the rest, secrets patted
Down like tall grasses shoved flat upon the
Earth ignoring the call to rise.

These are the rules we are told.
The instructions so clearly written on black boards: conform to the rest.

We march in lines so straight – this it how it all begins:
At play, we follow the leader,
Listen to Simon’s commands,
Ask if we may to mothers and those alike
Obeying those that cradled us –
Sacrificing all of ourselves to return the favor of their care.

Over time we then turn wheels in closed doors,
And we sit with our voices muted, our paths directed
By green lights, men in black suits, reporters in helicopters
Telling us where to go, how they’ll take us to our destination
Into dark cubes of predictability.

Others of us give a love to someone so strong
We forget how it feels to know ourselves.

And then, there are some of us that rip open the doors
And tear off our shoes
Exposing all of ourselves.
Barefoot and wild
We leap over rocks, and splash into riverbeds with courage and might.
We peek around corners watching those in their methodical lines
With the dedication of ants.

But those that trail off the paved paths to roads,
Not marked with signs and arrows that criss-and-cross,
Sit mercifully beneath the warmth of a boulder we will eventually climb.
These rain-splashed roads are clothed with tears of dreams and sacrifice.
They hold a brilliance, a mirage reflecting the light we emit.
They may be ugly, remote, end abruptly, and leave us with new question.

But we ask. We ask because we must. Because we want more.
We want to continue to seek and go places no one else has gone.


behind the scenes

This prompt was inspired by the choreography for a dance performance, The Pursuit of Happiness. I am honored to have had my poetry read and included in the performance.

 feature image provided by southafricanartists.com

There comes a time when one realizes the cage was unlocked all along. Learn More

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