“II ii – I have to think about what it means to be here…” by Dionne Brand

Because yesterday, 04/25/17, Dionne Brand and Claudia Rankine were in conversation at The Barnard Center for Research on Women (@bcrwtweets), and I know that I missed out on something great.

I console myself with a Dionne Brand poem from her 1997 collection Land To Light On.  April is #PoetryMonth

II ii

I have to think again what it means that I am here,
what it means that this, harsh as it is and without
a name, can swallow me up. I have to think how I
am here, so eaten up and frayed, a life that I was
supposed to finish by making something of it
not regularly made, where I am not this woman
fastened to this ugly and disappointing world.
I wanted it for me, to burst my brain and leap a distance
and all I have are these hoarse words that still owe
this life and all I’ll be is tied to this century and waiting
without a knife or courage and still these same words
strapped to my back
——by Dionne Brand



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