We Wear Red

RedDress-Project-547x599
RedDress-Project-547x599

This Poem was written upon an invitation by Anita Lara-Beckler and Haley Laughter of Hozho Total Wellness to participate in a tribute to Indigenous Missing Women at the June 2017 International Yoga Day in Monument Valley.  This tribute was inspired by The Dress Project, created and organized by Jamie Black. We wear red for the World’s Missing Women.

Our Sistar’s stories untold,

will break your heart,

set it afire with the world’s reddest flame,

build scar tissue made of the red earth walked by indigenous women,

And fill our heart’s acequias with the lifeblood of water,

so that they may be open,

flowing,

strengthening,

so that our hearts may channel tears of sisters who are now stars,

and water the harvest of our future’s creations.

The Stories of Our World’s Missing Womyn,

can be summed up from an Eagle’s Eye view as such:

  • In 1990 Economist, Amartya Sen estimated that more than 100 Million women were missing, due to:
    • Subtle gender disadvantages: men eat first in a household, when boys go hungry, girls starve.
      • Healthcare favors men in struggling economies.  Girls can deal.  Only enough money to tend to the bread winner.

These are the subtle choices, subtle if you are not a starving child, or the untreated ill.

  • Now for the overt stories, we have: rape, murder, burning, stoning, sex-trafficking, slavery, female genital mutilation, STD’s resulting from  sexual aggression not invitation.

Red is for our rage.

  • IN 2017, a Saturn’s Return and one generation of women Later:

We are here:  Honoring. Grieving. Acknowledging. Not letting go unseen,

the sistars, mothers, daughters, and grandmothers of our families made invisible by patriarchy’s discretion.

  • Over 1000 Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women in Canada.
  • Thousands of women and girls missing in Mexico
  • In this nation we do not have data on our missing women, we have only countless anecdotes of brutality, loss, grief and fortitude.  We have a research narrative that tells us between 1979 and 1992, homicides were the third leading cause of death among native women.

We hold these untold stories, and the rest of this narrative in our bodies.

Red is for Remembering.

I am writing this and I feel crippled.

I am suddenly Kali with her arms cut off.

these Warriors,

these forces of life, death, birth and and the cycle of creation,

these vessels of feminine wisdom,

in a world that has forgotten it’s true feminine nature,

are gone.

Red is for our blood.

I am not fucking kidding you.

I am writing this and I get an Amber Alert,

Belen, NM - Missing Female,

5 YEARS OLD.

And my inner 5 year old is distraught,

despair becomes her middle name,

until she cries herself to sleep,

and dreams that hundreds of millions of women,

now twinkle over her, Angels in the Sky.

These are Ancestars,

lighting our Women’s Way in the Dark.

They are only missing to those who won’t look up to see them,

shining in pure, guiding brilliance,

decorating the void of all creation,

with radiant hope.

Red is for our blotchy tear-stained cheeks, and breaking dawn the next morning.

Red is for our life-giving menstruation and the magic of mothering no man will ever take away from us.

Today we wear red for all of the Missing Women.

We wear red for the targeted atrocities on indigenous, feminine bodies.

We wear red for the roots that have been cut,

the cords that have been severed,

disconnecting our communities from their feminine nature.

We wear red as a proclamation of our belonging to the molten lava and fertile clay of Madre Tierra beneath us,

for the lifeblood that gave birth to us and is carried in the bodies of all women.

We wear red to stand with our sisters,

And to say that our red heart threads, like well-braided hair,

carry the wisdom of the ancient feminine and cannot be destroyed.  

For where cut it will regrow,

and where unbraided, it will re-weave.

We wear red for our connection to All Things,

to the eternal,

and to celebrate that we and our sisters are eternal.

We wear red because we refuse to let our sisters remain unseen, and because Red is the cloth of creation.

We wear red because it says stop.

That is enough.

No more.

We wear red because our life force is unstoppable.

And it will feed a feminine future.

For all of this and more, we wear red.

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PoetryCarli Romero