A Poem by Maria Paradinas: Anger

Like a cry issued from some primeval goddess
At once tremulous,
Then tempered by the sound of its own ringing

Bursts forth like an ancient spring
Runs deep like an ancient river

(And when you pollute it with insincerity
Plug it / shut it up/ it’s an affront to my liberty)
Age-old anger
Coursing against mossy banks
Dredging up old muck
dragging with it
Matted, grassy clumps of injustice
Tears that have plaited themselves into marshes
And rocks, violence-eroded, dustily veneer the river-bed

And golden flecks run through it, like matches
Burning and winking
And each twinkling fleck
Is one of my sisters, fallen

This anger is a jewel I wear sometimes
A tiny emblem of truth
earned over thousands of years

(Don’t fly in the face of my truth)

My anger is like an earthy vat
Split wide, great tear in the rocky plain,
This gaping mouth sings of a black girl’s anger
Sings of a black girl’s pain

(Don’t tell me to quell my fire)

So don’t tell me: ‘don’t be angry’,
Don’t tell me that it’s
Unbecoming, unnecessary, unladylike, unattractive, uncalled-for

Because the river is this vein in the back of my hand;
Anger is to temperance what ocean is to sand

anggger art 2.jpg

Illustration by Maria Paradinas.

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