lifetsyle

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What Great Grief Has Made the Empress Mute


Because it was raining outside the palace
Because there was no rain in her vicinity


Because people kept asking her questions
Because nobody ever asked her anything


Because marriage robbed her of her mother
Because she lost her daughters to the same tradition


Because her son laughed when she opened her mouth
Because he never delighted in anything she said


Because romance carried the rose inside a fist
Because she hungered for the fragrance of the rose


Because the jewels of her life did not belong to her
Because the glow of gold and silk disguised her soul
Because nothing she could say could change the melted
     music of her space
Because the privilege of her misery was something she could
     not disgrace
Because no one could imagine reasons for her grief
Because her grief required no imagination
Because it was raining outside the palace
Because there was no rain in her vicinity


Dedicated to the Empress Michiko and to Janice Mirikitani

Written by June Jordan (1936 - 2002)

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