Dean Young’s poem “Private Waterfall” is beautiful and powerful on so many levels. But I want to draw your attention to the very last section of the poem:
But remember how it felt to paint a flower,
how a flower was the basic building block of all things:
a hand, a house, a horse, the sun
mommy, daddy, baby, you,
a bandage, a valentine, a flame.
It still is.
There are simple things that childhood teaches us – imagination, sharing, love. Fantasy worlds crafted from a handful of building blocks. Dreams sculpted from a lump of Play-dough. A hand, the sun, a flame – all created from the simple image of a flower.
Throughout the course of this Blog-a-thon, I have been sharing poems from some of my favorite writers. They are not poems about the experience of sexual violence, but they all touch on some similar themes and motifs. What this means to me is that our experiences as human may seem incredibly different, but there are forces that tie all of our experiences together. This is what I mean when I say that rape is not just a personal struggle. It is our community’s struggle. It is our world’s struggle. And once we realize that it is all of our shared experience, we can demand that it change.
Our experiences are all built from the simple shape of a flower. Our lives divisible into basic shared truths. The petals of a flower.