I have stepped in the mud

Where the water meets blood

I have waded knee-deep in your shit

While it may be unkind

To the health of my mind

I have found myself soaking in it

Could I hold myself wise?

Then not internalize?

Could I find myself free of this trap?

My emotions run wild

Like an untended child

I have waded knee deep in this crap

I remember before I was born

In the womb I was hearing the sound

Of a dangerous world I was warned

In this dangerous world I am found

For the corner edges sharp, not round

Dangerous to children whose skin is brown

In this hidden safe space in my mind

I am skimming my knees kneeling down

I am bruising my knees on the floor

I capitulate just when I must

Searching for crumbs of hope in the dust

In the prison built around my mind

For a variety of mental crimes

For unauthorized thoughts that I keep

You exhort, “Do not wake! Stay asleep!”

When I woke therein broke all your rules

And declared the mind cage was for fools

The alarms sounded off their alert

And you shoved me back down in the dirt

~ by Sumiko Saulson on January 29, 2023.

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