A Litany for Survival

{Photo Credit :: blackfeminismlives.tumblr.com}

{Photo Credit :: blackfeminismlives.tumblr.com}

A Litany for Survival

For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of decision
crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going
in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
like bread in our children’s mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours:

For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads
learning to be afraid with our mother’s milk
for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.

And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid
of indigestion
when our stomachs are empty we are afraid
we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid
So it is better to speak
we were never meant to survive.

Audre Lorde, The Black Unicorn: Poems


  1. katmcdaniel · · Reply

    What an incredible poem from an incredible lady! I just posted one of her quotes on my website, then scrolled down to see that you had posted this. Synchronicity strikes again. Love this! The image is fabulous too. That is what drew me in.

    May I reblog this? I would have pinged it if I hadn’t already posted.


    1. Love this! Yes of course you may reblog- my sister pointed me in the direction of this poem and I couldn’t help but share it here… so beautiful. Glad it resonated with you too. :)

  2. This is a wonderful poem. And just what I needed to read today. Thank you

  3. katmcdaniel · · Reply

    Reblogged this on synkroniciti and commented:
    This is a beautiful, scrumptious poem by the author of our Quote for Today, Audre Lorde, posted today by bekahoutsidethebox. We posted independently and realized that we were on the same wave link. Gotta love synchronicity!

  4. Your words are heard. xox

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: