They took the words out of her,
imprisoned behind scars and threats.
They told her she was wrong,
that she might be crazy,
when she told them the stones spoke.
The beautiful, special stones,
the ones which said, “First, pick me up
and then I’ll tell you a story.”
She knew, if they’d only let her climb
to the top of the mountain,
she would see far, see differently, see slant,
not, just, the other side of the mountain.
She knew her words could take wing off the page
if they’d only teach her to read and to write.
She knew she could see and hear
what they no longer saw or heard.
She knew how to go down, dancing,
with the horse-headed one,
down to the darkness without fear.
She dreamt of a ladder between earth and sky.
All this they said was primitive, unimportant, not possible today.
They said she should believe in Jesus and a Father in the Sky
but not dreams, not visions, not prophecy,
not new covenants
They said the most important way to learn things
was to use the scientific method.
She saw an appallingly simple list of words,
hypothesis, experiment, result.
A trap for her mind
and the imagination,
she knew to be her most valuable gift.
They told her she could not fly
and she could not hear voices.
But, she knew she could.
She hid from them
and she hid her power,
for fear of them
and all the curses they foretold.
They told her it was all black and white and maybe grey.
She knew it was purple, mauve, magenta, blue and all the other hues
from palest yellow to darkest eggplant.
The stories stuck in her throat.
She tried to sing past them, around them, through them.
She is here today,