"I AM A WOMAN AND MY BLOOD CRIES OUT"

I came across this poem in my readings on images of Christ among Asian women.   
The poem is written by Gabriele Dietrich, a theologian in India.  
It is devastating, beautiful, and took my breath away by the end of the first stanza.

The Blood of a Woman Hiroshima Day  Gabriele Dietrich
I am a woman
and my blood
cries out:
Who are you
to deny life
to the life givers?
Each one of you
has come from the womb
but none of you
can bear woman
when she is strong
and joyful and competent
You want our tears
to clamour for protection.
Who are you
to protect us
from yourselves?

I am a woman
and my monthly bloodshed
makes me aware
that blood
is meant for life.
It is you
who have invented
those lethal machines
spreading death:
Three kilotonnes of explosives
for every human being
on earth.

I am a woman
and the blood
of my abortions
is crying out
I had to kill
my child
because of you
who deny work to me
so that I cannot feed it.
I had to kill my child
because I am unmarried
and you would harass me
to death
if I defy
your norms.

I am a woman
and the blood
of being raped
is crying out.
This is how you keep
your power intact,
how you make me tremble
when I go out at night.
This is how you keep
me in place
in my house where
you rape me again,
I am not taking this
any longer.
I am a woman
and the blood
of my operations
is crying out.
Even if I am a nun
you still use my body
to make money
by giving me historectomy
when I don't need it.
My body is in the clutches
of husbands, policemen,
doctors, pimps,
there is not end
to my alienation.

I am a woman
and the blood
of my struggles
is crying out.
Yes, my comrades,
you want us
in the forefront
because you have learnt
you cannot do without us.
You need us
in the class struggle
as you need us
in bed
and to cook
your grub
to bear
your children
to dress
your wounds.
You will celebrate
women's day
garlands
for our great supporters.
Where would we be
without our women?

I am a woman
and the blood
of my sacrifices
cries out to the sky
which you call heaven.
I am sick of you priests
who have never bled
and yet say:
This is my body
given up for you
and my blood
shed for you
drink it.
Whose blood
has been shed
for life
since eternity?
I am sick of you priests
who rule the garbagriha,
who adore the womb
as a source of life
and keep me shut out
because my blood
is polluting.

I am a woman
and I keep bleeding
from my womb
but also from my heart
because it is difficult
to learn to hate
and it might not help
if I hate you.
I still love
my little son
who bullies his sister
he has learnt it outside,
how do I stop him?
I still love
My children's father
because he was there
when I gave birth.
I still long
for my lovers touch
to break the spell
of perversion
which has grown
like a wall
between women and men.
I still love
my comrades in arms
because they care
for others who suffer
and there is hope
that they give their bodies
in the struggle for life
and not just for power.
But I have learned
to love my sisters.
We have learned
to love one another.
We have learned
even to respect
ourselves.

I am a woman
and my blood
cries out.
We are millions
and strong together.
You better hear us
or you may be doomed.

3 comments:

Rhiannon Y Orizaga said...

great poem. sometimes i think if men could get inside women's heads and see the amount of anger they would be literally scared sh*tless. but then, it is our task as christians to transform our anger into something useful, something that elevates.

Lutestring said...

that poem chills and moves me to the bone

Rhiannon, you are so right! Love how you said that.

Existential Punk said...

They need to be inside our heads and experience our righteous anger!

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