MiNDFOOD Poem: Milk and Honey

By Rosie Copeland

sketch of the three old women on a bench in a city park.

I stayed so long in the darkness

it became a circle of light.

Other women joined me: my mother,

her mother, her mother’s mother,

our sisters. We unfastened

each other’s straitjackets, ripped

the duct tape off our mouths and sang

notes so clear doves mistook

us as their own and came to roost

on our shoulders. We picked the scabs

off our sores, anointed our bodies

with sorrow, traced the scars

with our forefingers. We swam

in rivers of milk and smeared honey

on our bruised flesh as a salve.

We embodied hope in shrouds.

We pronounced our truths aloud.

Rosie Copeland

Lower Hutt, NZ

Our winning poem

Rosie says of her poem: “It was inspired by the theme of ‘Generations’. I was thinking about how the generations of Greek women in my family have been oppressed but together; generation by generation, we are becoming able to break free of that and heal and speak our truth freely. It’s essentially a poem about hope: hope for ourselves and hope for the future generations.” 


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