A Poem: Dignity

Perhaps standing up for ourselves
is more making a space around ourselves.

One in which we move
as a water drop undisturbed.

A drop that is part of the ocean,
or the stream or a shower,
but is also contained,

and is entirely water
on its own terms.

Perhaps moving through the world
with courage and dignity
is knowing what we hold inside,

as a field of wildflowers,
as mountains, streams and oceans,

so that everyone who asks to swim in us,
or pick our blooms,
must first receive permission.

Yes, that we have a door
we can shut while moving is our birthright,
ours and everyone living.

That we move together in a shelter
made of this knowledge of our worth,

with keys to our own precious kingdoms,
and self-respect our doorman,

and a space of at least an arm’s length
in which we swim throughout the world.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
June 2021

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