This poem is inspired by a conversation I had once with one of my female students. After sharing these poems, I am going to talk about the unique challenges that women face in Guyana, specifically when it comes to physical and sexual abuse. As crippling as the ignorance about rape is here in the United States, the ignorance in a developing country such as Guyana is terrifying. This poem is for all girls, but especially for my beloved students in Guyana who sometimes struggle grasping dreams, who allow themselves to wish for more.
The Owner of the Moon
you touched my wrist
said, miss, why you so fair?
miss, it ain’t fair
how come you skin feel that way?
like chicken skin before you cook it
how come you ain’t cooked like me?
you said, miss, if I got the chance
I might like to be a pilot
fly on out of here
till trees turn to fingersmudges and this life to wind.
miss, if i got the chance,
I might like to go to America
with all them people made out of snow.
if i got the chance, miss
I might like my own bed
one without stevie’s feet so cold
alana’s kicking nightmares,
without mama’s late night tiptoe
but miss, if I could be anything
I might like to be in charge of the moon
choose who I curl up close to
and whose nights I leave cold.
I might like to fly across the sky whenever I want
turn circles around this earth till I’m dizzy
and can’t do nothing else but glow.
miss, you ever wonder
if we got legs to run across the ground,
then what are these arms for?
you ducked down into stars
skin rubbed raw by night
buried your knees in the mud
stuck out your arms like branches
growing from a snowman’s belly
I mean don’t you ever think about it, miss?
maybe these arms, you said
miss, maybe these arms is for running across the sky.