The Book of Loss and Learning

—for the Mothers

You can listen to this poem here.

By Rebecca Villarreal

How many shares would blond blue-eyed darlings get

if wearing hoodies got them killed?

or jogging?

Would we see documentaries flashing back to soccer teams

and lemonade stands?

Would the lineup of captured offenders parade your feed?

How many vigils?

How much b-roll of crying family members?

Now we get hashtags

for black and brown

searching for systemic change

root cause

If there were superheroes to re-plant our origins

where might the story shift?

Our First Nations families might have fed our love of the land

rather than moved, contained, separated and boarded

now man camps and pipelines

snake their way into cracks in the earth

where women and girls turn to shadows

And what of the lettuce, strawberries, melons

now in a world six feet over?

The hands without documents can stay because we need food

and we need hands to pick the food

but their children go in cages

where there are documents of dying, abused and touched

The braid of being

Black in America

First here Wisdom Keepers

and Brown and borderless

Let us remember the all of Asia

and the fear of blame for the crown worn across the globe

If Gaia could speak

and in truth she has

there might be her own sort of lineup

A red thread connecting us

the nations are none

soil and seed

sun and rain

vitamins nourish

our one heart

She decided to make us see

You are not immune

You are

You shall thrive

You shall not

the lines are divided by us

by the funds for personal protection

What if the world spun on service?

What if money was not the currency of power?

What if kindness took the helm?

What if love rose up from Mauna Kea?

What if the mothers took over?

In a dystopian film there might be grief camps for offenders

so they could feel the heartache of losing the babies we raised for freedom

The mothers would pivot away from assault rifles in protest

Lock hands

Roots in

Wings up

Read you The Book of Loss and Learning

So we may

clean the wound

speak the unspoken

whisper truth in song

until it becomes

one with

our pulse

Our One pulse

hand on your heart

feel it

mirror the earth




© Rebecca Villarreal 2020

*Sculpture Artist Unknown – please let me know if you know.*