For the Mothers, Sisters & Children. {Poem Series}

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Starting with Our Own

From the hot sands
of the Texas-Mexico border
the newscaster crossed the line
from objective to human.
She said when we become mothers
we become sisters to all mothers.

We say, yes—
When we become adults
we become guardians to all children
and siblings to all people.
We challenge the forces
that violate, separate
and silence—
starting with our own.

We check the temptation
to criticize or dehumanize
even the oppressor—
starting with our own.
We hold our hymn through the holler,
follow our light through the thunder of

you can’t, you’re not, you don’t
your body is my body
your heart is my collateral
your mind is my dogma.

We choose the common sense of love
over the common error of fear—
starting with our own.
We blaze our praise-song

we can, we are, we do
our body is our own
our heart is on fire
our minds are united

We cherish the child
who only has sounds to say

I need
I love
I am

~

“If this is not an assault on humanity, I ask you, Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump—Ivanka Trump loves to Instagram beautiful photos of she and her children. Besides the pictures she posts and how she says she’s an advocate for women, a devoted mother, when you become a mother, you become a sister to all other mothers.” ~ Stephanie Ruhle, MSNBC

~

Anthem

When I fear my voice doesn’t count
I stay silent.
When I trust my voice counts
I speak for the silenced.
And they start to speak.
And their voice joins my voice to make our voice.
And through the chorus we find
our note of the
one song.

~

Accommodation

We give one person a castle and another a cage.
Would we treat our children this way?
We know they belong in one home.
Love makes space.
Love legislates
as a family.

~

author: Rebecca Tolin

Image: Author's Own

Editor: Catherine Monkman

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Rebecca Tolin

Rebecca Tolin is a freelance writer living in San Diego. Her work has appeared in Yoga Journal, Sierra, and Mother Nature Network, among other publications. She reported for PBS, ABC, and NBC affiliates before retreating to a contemplative life. She enjoys tree gazing, trail blazing, word playing, twisting into new shapes, communing with loved ones, asking the unanswerable questions, and drifting in the silence that gives rise to it all.

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Rebecca Tolin Jul 6, 2018 5:19pm

Wow! Z Marcus, I love this turnaround: "When we become brothers, sisters, and guardians to all humans, we become human." Brilliant! Besides cooking and language and art, this is what defines us: humanity. As homo sapiens we're given the opporunity to sister and brother one another, to express love beyond need and short-term personal gain. And I agree — we must, if we are to be fully human. Thank you for your insightful thoughts!

Rebecca Tolin Jul 6, 2018 5:12pm

Thank you darling Amanda! You live this way, as we are all one heartbeat. You ARe the love that makes space. Thank you for reading and sharing, for all you do and are!

Z Marcus Jul 6, 2018 7:47am

Thanks, Rebecca! Just beautiful. As one who never became a mother, I was thinking 'when we become human we become brothers, sisters, and guardians to all humans,' but then realized, no: when we become brothers, sisters, and guardians to all humans, we become human. May it be so.

Amanda Collins Jul 6, 2018 6:29am

Dearest Rebecca, thank you for these beautiful and powerful Poems. Such vital reminders for us all. Yes we are all one, the one heartbeat. Your poetry brings inspirations to our hearts and souls. As I read "Accommodation" I felt it so deepply in my heart. Keep writing keep sharing we all need your sacred poems love always

Rebecca Tolin Jul 6, 2018 4:10am

Thanks for adding your voice Liz! I'm so glad "Anthem" resonates. In these volitile times, speaking up for love and unity seems like the only sane thing to do.

Rebecca Tolin Jul 6, 2018 3:24am

Thanks for reading and commenting Liz! Life is fullest when we sing together this one song. I appreciate your voice!

Rebecca Tolin Jul 6, 2018 3:19am

Thank you Lara! Ah yes, it is truly the heart that matters.

Rebecca Tolin Jul 6, 2018 3:16am

Oh Cynthia, so beautifully said! We all want, feel and need the same exact things. There simply is no "other" and our diversity makes us mighty and whole. Thank you!

Lara Daciuk O'Connor Jul 6, 2018 1:03am

So glad to see this writing, and to see this heart of the matter, matter. This is just what we need.

Liz Wiltzen Jul 6, 2018 12:38am

I love all of these Rebecca, and especially "Anthem". Thanks for your inspiring and thought provoking poetry, so glad to see it here.

Cynthia Rome Jul 5, 2018 10:55pm

Thank you for these poems. They are a reminder to all of us that these children and families are not separate or different from us. They are us. They feel pain the same as we do. The only way such autrosities could be allowed is to forget this, to make them other than ourselves. So thank you Rebecca Tolin and Elephant Journal. This is a needed voice.