On Writing

Poem 43 – Collection

Collection

“While close friendships can be seen throughout, viewers will also see how these women respectfully challenged and shaped each other’s ideas and perspectives.” Instruction Archivist, Gabrielle M. Dudley, Curator of ‘She Gathers Me: Networks Among Black Women Writers’

when we gather
the great collection
e x p a n d s

in sound & silence
in rooms & on roads
we collect the parts
of each other that need
love
forgiveness
light

we collect the 
uncertainty the
depleted the lost
& hold it in the palms
of our hearts
thrum & thrash
shake & stretch 
what demands to be changed
also what shouts to remain the same
in trust and good promises

we are collectors
respectful sassy
riveting sensual
dancers on the 
slippery tongue of
necessary self- expression

women gathered
in sound & silence
in rooms & on roads
collect each other’s souls
in the grace of fierce 
knowing
that womanhood 
is a sisterhood of
devotion to the 
wild spirit of
empowerment



Members of The Sisterhood, 1977, a writing collective/circle founded by Alice Walker and June Jordan in NYC. Front row, left to right: Nana Maynard, Ntozake Shange, Louise Meriweather, back row, left to right; Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor, Alice Walker, Audrey Edwards, Toni Morrison and June Jordan. Image: abladeofgrass.org. The woman in the photo on the wall is Bessie Smith.

Research:

https://grandmotherproject.net/

4 thoughts on “Poem 43 – Collection

  1. this is great Vanessa! really like it…

    you put so much into these poems… I’m in awe!

    Charis

    On Fri, 12 Feb 2021 at 11:23, VANESSA SHIELDS, writer wrote:

    > Vanessa Shields posted: ” Collection “While close friendships can be seen > throughout, viewers will also see how these women respectfully challenged > and shaped each other’s ideas and perspectives.” Instruction Archivist, > Gabrielle M. Dudley, Curator of ‘She Gathers Me: Networks” >

    Like

  2. Love this!!!

    On Fri, Feb 12, 2021 at 9:54 AM VANESSA SHIELDS, writer wrote:

    > Vanessa Shields posted: ” Collection “While close friendships can be seen > throughout, viewers will also see how these women respectfully challenged > and shaped each other’s ideas and perspectives.” Instruction Archivist, > Gabrielle M. Dudley, Curator of ‘She Gathers Me: Networks” >

    Like

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