my name is ra.

bones like mine

I wear a safety pin
for me.
It is a cold reminder,
metal against skin,
worn on the inside
of my clothes.

It is not
to remind me that
I am not safe.

That would be unnecessary.

After a thousand generations,
that possibility
is coded into my dna,
mixed into my marrow,
painted onto my skin
right underneath
the canopy of brown.
I wear that possibility
with my womanhood,
the two inextricably

A law can’t take that
possibility away.
Paper can’t peel
my father’s skin off me
like a chocolate-toned rind.
Paper can’t juice the
blood of my grandmothers
from me like pulp.
Paper can’t suck my marrow
from my bones.

Paper can’t keep me safe.

I’ve been coded
to understand.

Like any prey,
I prepare for possibility.

I practice defense,
in case.
I employ offense,
in case.
I read eyes, hands,
and the pauses between words,
and I follow the
paper trail.

paper can’t hurt me,
and paper can’t
give me safe,
but it’s a rustle
in the leaves,
a canary in a mine.
It means something
if you can read it,
if you can follow it.

Do you follow it?

You might.

And you might
be wearing a pin
to let me know
you hope for a day
where my
bones are allowed
to forget
the billions of times
they’ve been
bought and sold,
crushed and emptied,
and forced,
and forced
to fit a shape
they were never made
to fit.

Not my bones, exactly,
but bones like mine.

You are wearing a pin
in hope,
and I am thankful,
it reminds me
that bones like mine
are built for hope.

Built to stand for
bones like mine.

It is in my marrow,
in my deepest code.

So now
I wear a safety pin
for me,
pinned to the inside
of my clothes.
A reminder that
my bones are strong enough
to stand
for me,
and bones like mine,


  1. I’m wearing a pin
    Because it was made for me
    Rainbow beaded for me
    By a small boy, whose hopes
    I cannot bear to crush
    By telling him now
    That the world isn’t fair
    That no number
    Of safety pins will ever
    Keep people we love
    People we don’t love
    People we don’t know
    Or those closest to us
    From harm.
    Sticks and stones
    Might break your bones
    And pins will not
    Protect you.
    I can’t tell him
    This world is grim
    And so I keep
    This untruth.

    Love wins
    Love wins
    But maybe not
    In this life,

    Liked by 2 people

  2. People are so mixed up,
    they can’t help themselves,
    with their myopic vision made of fear
    they confuse different with unsafe
    and so people like you grow bones of strength
    to withstand the onslaught
    and stand in a safe circle of support
    wrapped up in love and safety pins.
    Alison xox

    Liked by 3 people


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