I am so proud, and perhaps a little nervous as well, to announce that my poem "Grocery Store Tenderness" has been included in the latest issue of Awakened Voices, Issue 10: Intention for Change.
Awakened Voices, hosted by Awakenings Art of Chicago, IL, is dedicated to making visible the artistic expression of survivors of sexual violence. This issue examines the internal intentions that can begin to spark change in an individual or community.
This isn't a part of my life or my experience that I've always been comfortable being vocal about, but this publication is certainly a start. So far, it has felt pretty good.
My poem "Grocery Store Tenderness" means a great deal to me, a lot that I don't think is very worth trying to explain in some way that I'm sure will still miss the whole truth slightly. All I know is that, even though I'm in a very different space now as opposed to when I wrote that poem, I am still deeply affected by it every time I read it. It is hard to do that sometimes, which I think is normal. I just have to remind myself that I'm still healing, which doesn't mean I'm weak when something triggers me or I find my brain back in the scary place it was three years ago.
It's definitely easier to be quiet about the topic of sexual violence and the issues related to it, and I think it is a very valid thing to choose not to talk about it as a survivor; however, this publication has given me the opportunity to have conversations with my friends and family that I do not think I would have had otherwise, and that has been so incredibly meaningful to me.
I am honored and humbled to have my poem next to those of so many strong and skilled poets.
Click here to read Awakened Voices, Issue 10: Intention for Change online.
Click here to access the PDF version.