//An act of kindness is sometimes revolutionary.
That’s the climate we live in –
where an act of reaching out is hailed high
when it should be common speak.
Because we are common speech,
Every last syllable of us.
Kindness is common tongue.
From every tribe and every nation,
we are common tongue.
We walk sideways
because walking up to
becomes a matter of “what it looks like.”
To someone else.
We were made in kindness,
in response to,
in spite of,
and in-trinsically spoken.
You are natural speech.
every knocked out rib trying to make space
– natural speech.
Expectation to rise above
never means losing your
swaying hip syllables
rising voice, rising verb fists
common tongue, common speech, natural speech – self.//
Forget what it looks like to reach out to someone because of what Twitter or FB says. Forget what it looks like to reach out in a revolutionary way to form a bridge. Forget what it looks like to just be. Your common self.
This poem was born from the expectation others put on us and sometimes the expectations we put on ourselves because of what “it looks like” to others. It’s a call to be our natural selves.
Today, I reached out to someone who got a lot of flack on Twitter because of the lack of diversity in their spread. I know very well why the urgency was present. I respect that and do not dismiss it.
I began to think that maybe my face (or faces like mine) wasn’t represented there because he/she doesn’t know me. So, I introduced myself. I don’t expect to be THE Latina voice in spaces where I’m not present among Christian writers, but I will work hard to make sure we are represented in that landscape. It didn’t cost me anything to reach out, to form a bridge, to answer my call to more. I don’t expect anything in return. I’m still learning and still working. With this I find peace.
I will continue to advocate for voices like mine to be present in spaces lacking diversity in Christian publishing. I’m burrowing my way into these spaces as gracefully as my “common self” will allow. I realize I have to work twice as hard but I won’t give up.
The answer is always “no” until you ask.
It’s #FiveMinuteFriday. The word prompt is EXPECT. Above is five minutes of free flow writing. I usually wake up at 4:00 a.m. to write and a poem is born. I welcome your comments and thoughts.
The forward slashes (//) indicate where the timer started and ended. Your turn!