When they told us Don’t speak until spoken to, we grew
ears the size of corn.
When they forced us to eat everything we swallowed
their hurt whole.
When they hit us for drawing on the wall we painted
doors that opened behind curtains.
For generations they lived like this. Wanting badly to
save us—not knowing how.
& all the while we found love in unlikely places: In
the ravaged church of our bodies & our faces,
refracted in their long faces.
Jane Springer, “Mules” from Murder Ballad. Copyright © 2012 by Jane Springer. Reprinted by permission of Alice James Books.
Source: Murder Ballad
(Alice James Books, 2012)