We Sang Ourselves Free
We didn’t always know we would win. Just that we would do whatever we had to in order to get free. We used to sing softly to each other, to our selves, hum low under our breath to remember our voices in places we were unwelcome. We danced in secret. We laughed silently across rooms, taking our quiet joys and tucking them into our pockets like perfumed handkerchiefs we could smell later when we needed to remember our sweetness.
Our foremothers and forefathers built a bridge of sound and hope that only a few could hear. We heard their call from the heavens, though, and we answered them all, we answered becoming flesh and voice and song. If you listen closely enough, you will know how beautiful we are. Someone tried to stop their music. The love they found each other in. Tried to turn them into silence, as if they could ever be less than furious messengers of a love lived out loud. Everything we do is song. We are a dance, unsilenceable.
One day, we saw the first rose bloom in years when we sang the low notes we’d been singing since before time had a name. We got louder. More people joined in the song and the grasses awoke from their slumber. The wolves came and sat at our feet, weeping. The rains came down and the trees remembered us. We began again and knew, we knew God was listening.
And the rains came the way the come. Slow and sweet at first, washing the old ash and dust to the rivers. Then again there were rivers where we washed our hands and feet. Where we washed each other’s hair. Where we sang our old songs and the earth heard, answering in heather and pine. And she answered in the day’s harvest, yellows spiraling into violets, sweets wrapping themselves in spicy oranges and fuchsias tumbling over each other to embrace the sour and soft fruit of each other.
We ate and grew fat again. We all fell madly in love and raised perfect children. The sort of perfect that brought us into each day, laughing. We grinned rich as noonday, each of us carrying the songs and teaching them to the children, how to stretch a note all the way into fingertips until the trees begin to sway.
You feel that? We said to each other, our hairs standing to answer the electric air.
Yes. We all answered.