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Safe Spaces In Stanzas | Gloria Kiconco

"We beat drums to affirm our rhythm, speak to affirm our voices, and hope this music will drown out non-belonging"
“We beat drums to affirm our rhythm,
speak to affirm our voices,
and hope this music will drown out non-belonging”

 

Everything must belong somewhere.

Was there anything ever made

that belonged nowhere?

 

There is what we found

and there is

what we made of it.

 

There was rhythm

long before drums,

cacophony, unsound, too.

 

We tightened skins

over drums and beat out

sound already there

just because we needed

our hands to affirm

what our hearts already knew.

 

That in a demonstration

the freedom is demonstrated

in the hands holding hands.

 

That bodies

are containers keeping

safe space for each other.

 

And I have found safe spaces draped

over sunlit shoulders, waiting

for me to rest my head.

 

Others I found

in the hands that hugged mine,

keeping me from grasping misery.

 

How many revolutions were born from verse?

Perhaps if we cried in stanzas

people would listen harder.

 

We beat drums to affirm our rhythm,

speak to affirm our voices,

and hope this music will drown out non-belonging.

 

Gloria Kiconco is a Ugandan poet, journalist, and editor. Her poetry has been published in Brittle Paper and Lawino. She has written articles for STARTjournal of the arts and Doppiozero’s column, Why Africa? She often recites her work in Kampala at Poetry-in-session. You can find more of her writing on her blog, Rhymesbythereams.

Never seen Gloria perform? Here is a video of her performing at Poetry In Session:

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