June 29, 2022

Mine. {Poem}

For as long as I can remember, deep anger has rendered me mute—or nearly so.

Poetry is one of few outlets that permits me to express the kinds of anger that my mind can barely compute.

I am still processing Friday’s news. It is strange to follow current events in the United States from a distance and feel them both far away and all too near at once. I couldn’t say if this poem is what I most want to say about all this, but it is something.

I don’t know if these are the right words for the circumstances. I don’t know if such words exist. But these are the words that came.

Mine. A Poem.

My body.
Not yours.

My body that chooses not to be a mother

for now, for as long as I want.

My body that loves my baby niece with every cell,

and no, you don’t need to ask when it’s my turn.

My body that fights and f*cks and dances and eventually dies,

but not on your terms.

Mine. Mine.

If one thing in this world is mine to inhabit and exhibit as I please it is this.


I might make “good” or “bad” decisions with it,

but they will be mine.

If I care for it,

make it lovely, ugly, strong,

it is for my pleasure.

Not yours.

Not yours to control or consign,

not yours to dictate or define.

If this body is a battlefield, know this:

it is mine.

Only one nation has ever felt entirely my domain.

I know every peak and valley,

all her rough terrain.

I am proud to pledge her my allegiance;

I live and fight in her grace.

Unto herself she is sovereign.


Please consider Boosting our authors’ articles in their first week to help them win Elephant’s Ecosystem so they can get paid and write more.


Read 6 Comments and Reply

Read 6 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Toby Israel  |  Contribution: 24,445

author: Toby Israel

Image: Photographer: Marc Maksim

Editor: Lisa Erickson

Relephant Reads:

See relevant Elephant Video