• Lorraine Johnson

[41] Seeing Whole

The Body—it holds all of its haul

Through ancestral lands,

And hard stories that stay

And long migrant trails,

and colonial tales

of false wins proclaimed,

And medieval butcheries

and brutal enslavement

that still weather us worn,

And inhumane acts

that continue to be born.


Yet be, they can’t not,

as they hide and they fight—in all of our veins,

regardless of clout, or money or fame.


So travel we must through thick heavy mud

with face towards the rain that ever—

so slowly—lessens the pain,

as it gently removes a bit of the load

as we lighten—slightly—the handmade mold

and begin to fly, yes, and grow tall and more free

as we hope—for others—yes others—to finally see

And then gently or strongly—we show up,

at the side of the mighty green tree,

more firm are we—that all of us must be—and play,

under the great canopy of its ever-giving shade.


So through brazen sun—

and the light of the moon

and persistent wind

and hidden songs—and sometimes not,

and journeys long, with laid out rocks—

carefully placed so some will fall,

and cracks and crevices that if left unseen,

gobble us up whole and lock with a key,

We rise, we stand, we take our place, and stay hand to hand—

revealing and healing the circle of trauma that engulfs all of this—one human race.

And the Bodies, yes each of them hold—precariously—the persistence of one longing song,

that urges and urges us to pause and unearth—the remaining trace of a lasting grace,

as we hold on, and hold on—yes—to life’s sweet embrace.