For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. Racism and homophobia are real conditions of all our lives in this place and time. I urge each one of us here to reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside herself and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives here. See whose face it wears. Then the personal as the political can begin to illuminate all our choices.

Audre Lorde, The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House

Impossible Things

Sunday before breakfast

I stare at the blank page and imagine

out of all the possible, impossible things

which six I should believe.


"It is practice", the Queen said. 

"Half an hour a day", she said. 

And so, I believe:

Children will learn, 

about bees and pollination,

not the sound of a gun

on automatic fire.

Hearts and borders will open

we will welcome them home,

we will not abandon them

to tumble, through the rolling surf,

Leaders will listen and be moved

by the rising tide of change, 

not the fear of small men and dark times.

That's only three.

So many impossible things.

I close my eyes.

I draw three more:

The Sacred Waters will call

and spread her Guardians

from sea to sea to shining sea.

Love will shatter all the hardness

and the world will dream his dream

held by a collective understanding

of belonging, of tribe.

I am tired now, and it is only Sunday before breakfast.

So many impossible things that require us to hold them

despite evidence, despite history, despite frailty and failings,

hold these things self-evident:

Language matters

Representation is not optional

All life is tribe.

The Master's house must be dismantled.

We must not re-build it with his tools.

Tomorrow I will practice again.


Fiona Mackintosh (© February 18, 2018)

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