Dragon Walk

The dead scream.
It echoes in my long bones.

I walk with purpose now,
one foot in front of the other,
pink ribbon in my fist.
I am only one.
I am not alone.
Falling in step
with a sorority of sorrow,
I gather momentum,
on this runaway train.

Count off seven
number eight walks with us.
Her face shines with fear.
Her legs move in tandem with ours
as we move towards the next one,
Simple math.
Why aren't you afraid?

We walk with purpose now,
in malls, corridors, upstairs bedrooms.
We walk the dragon, carry protest signs.
We demand the silver bullet.
Our lips move
but you don't hear us.
You turn away
and think  
tsk, tsk
so courageous
not me.

Why don't they die like ladies,
politely slipping away,
passing on
without a scene,
packed away with their fine china?
not me, you say.

But you fall in step with the regiment,
eye sockets hollow with shock,
another dark statistic
looking in the faces 
of the women who pass you-
who has It, who doesn't?
And you start counting off 
groups of eight, looking
for the fear you feel.

You are slashed, poisoned, 
burned at the stake
but you get up and walk.
Walk in your angry
wig or terry cloth turban.
Walk bald, demanding
to see yourself in your dreams again.
Walk weary from calculating the odds.
You walk with the 1.8 million of us.
You have joined us with your dragon

and will not be silenced.
The dead scream 
from our long bones.
Why can't they hear it?

Why aren't they afraid?

Return to Portraits