For Women’s History Month: The Womb

The womb.
A charged notion
Saturated with definitions like layers of old stamps,
licked and impressed by thumbs of the past.

A doorway to life blessed with blood and pain:
The womb has endured a lifetime of oppression-
It’s meaning dissected and dictated – why is life in the hands of the “weaker sex?”

The womb, we are told, validates a woman’s authority,
as if her power grows while her body expands to make room for a new story.
And we see the Beyoncés embrace this fertile goddess state,
aglow with her ability to grow, nourish, and incubate.
Tree tattoos will spread across her abdomen rooting her body to this battle,
These she should either hide or show with pride – I forget which is in season.

But what about times when the womb is a place of grief and regret?
Infecting the mind with bitter hopes and pain, whispering ‘woeful wasteland’ into ears consumed by the sound of other people’s fulfilment.
Is it still the warmth of the womb that coaxes us to emerge from this chaos of longing and live?

There are those who deny this power and carve their masks from a different metal.
Watch for the stifled pain of a failed attempt or a transwoman’s daydreams,
and the weight of your privilege,
to cast aside that power as worthless,
will overwhelm you.

It is no coincidence that creative means ‘to grow’.
Valarie Kaur says that the darkness we see in the world is like the darkness of the womb.
From it, we can give birth to the change we want to see.
Every human being has a darkness inside,
latent yet loaded with possibility.
In Arabic, the word for ‘womb’ comes from the word for ‘mercy’
and as we incubate and nourish our goals
it is the mercy we learnt from the womb
that rouses us all to rage against darkness for the sake of light.
To love the future.

To nourish a thought, an idea.