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To the little redheaded girl who turned in her seat on the bus to tell my daughters to shut up—

Ok, fine she didn’t say shut up
but she might as well have. Her mouth
a small pyre exploding. Be quiet she said
& stop talking. All they’re saying
is their names back-and-forth. Anyway.
Celi. Miri. Celi. Miri. Be quiet
& it truly takes all that’s inside me
to not become tornado. Nor’easter.
The eye of any storm. Yes,
they were saying their names.
A cacophony. Song. Hydrant of butterflies
from their lungs. Collective. Not silenced.

Yes these girls will be rallying & assembling
your shut down. They can’t be silenced
by you little redheaded girl. Won’t be. We
teach them what it means to live holy
& raucous in their names. How you hold onto it,
say it loud when you need. Need it when it’s hard,
& someone is trying to shut you down, or up.
We teach them how to be hurricane girls. Natural
earth moving & shaking young women
who don’t shut up or down other girls
but bring along with them. Protest girls,
who know their names. Who will not be silenced
Who won’t be shushed or quieted.
Who’ll have their hands all the way up & shining
& blistering on up & into the great big blazing sky.


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