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.
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.”