Witches

In the past they burned us,
because they thought we were witches.
Just because we knew what to do with herbs outside the kitchen
because we knew how to dance, how to seduce, how to pray.
Because we moved with the cycles of the moon.

In the past they burned us alive
because they knew that we are witches.
So now we cast spells with our mouths
pieces of our hearts spill out.
It is incredible, the power of a woman
who is not afraid to say ‘no’.

No we won’t sit any longer while you ponder on our rights.
On our rights to give or not give life.
On our rights to make another woman our wife.
On our rights to be safe, to get paid an equal wage.
To have a voice, in a place where we might make a change.

It is incredible, the amount of ways they have slayed just to keep us small.
If they could’ve they probably would’ve burned us all.
But they couldn’t with fire so they did it with words.
Laid down laws to determine the amount of our worth.
They kept us in contracts.
They separated our circles.
Erased us from pages
and made labour saving devices our saviors.

It is incredible how quickly knowledge can fade.
How much effort was invested to lead us astray.

But we will not  come quietly.

Well, there’s another thing they tried to take away.
Our rights to exclaim our orgasms ecstatically.
We will not come quietly.
We will open our mouths and let our spells spill out.
Cast poetic prayers into the night so that every woman
can hear the howl of her sister’s delight,
reminding her that her voice deserves to be heard.

Let her jaw drop. Let her shame stop.
Let her body scream under the self pleasure of
what it means to be a woman who can speak freely.
You see words, they carry meaning.
They have fooled us for so long that ‘no’ means ‘yes’.
So much so that I’m almost impressed.
Except I finally discovered they’re right.

So I’ve claimed back that ‘no’ as mine.
Because every ‘no’ I throw against their forces
is another ‘yes’ I retain for my own self-worth.

It is a spell cast for my own protection.
It is incredible, the power of a woman
who is not afraid to say NO.

And this old witch?
I’m done with broomsticks.
I’m done with ‘know your place’.
This witch knows that some knowledge
just won’t fade.
That every woman is my sister.
Through the hubble and the bubble
and the toil and the trouble
we grow stronger
when we cast our spells together.

We entered the fire.
Now we rise from the ashes
and we are holding our candles
and lighting our matches
until the night becomes lighter
and our voices can grow
because we have remembered
we are witches
and we have learned to say ‘NO’.

by

Fleassy Malay

☾☽

Listen to Fleassy speak her poem ‘Witches’ here

She’s incredible!

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