Photo by Matúš Kovačovský on Unsplash

your name.

on the day, on the night,

at the right moment,

the perfect hour,

you make your entrance

covered in the blood

of all the women in your past.

you rage, your first battle cry

to let the earth know

that you have made it,

that you have arrived.

and when your mother

touches you for the first time,

her eyes meeting yours.

the first sight,

the name of your revolution

rest softly on her tongue.

she says it over and over,

like a prayer.

she says it enough

that it seeps into your blood,

and at that moment,

your name is etched

into your soul.

and you know, you know

it carries the weight

of every woman that has lived

before you.

it means something, your mother tells you.

it means the earth,

the moon, the sun, the stars,

the heavens, the soil of home,

the smell of every spice, the light of god himself.

with each passing year,

your name has so many versions,

each better than the other,

each bolder, stronger, louder.

and yet the men in your bloodline

come with chains that bind your ankles together

because they know,

they know the weight your name carries,

the strength,

the revolution that it holds.

and it scares them, it frightens them,

that a woman with a name

could undo every chain

they have tied on every woman

they claimed.

they try, to break you,

over and over.

they never utter your name,

you know why, you know why.

but your mother, she tells you,

to tell them.

tell them your name.

and say it, shout it,

knowing it carries the pain

of all the women they have silenced.

but then, they come.

the they whose tongues were made rich,

through looting, conquering and war,

and they spit out your name

and it feels dirty, so dirty.

it feels wrong,

they say it wrong. foreign, hollow.

they pull at every letter,

finding humour

in the trauma your name carries.

leaving a bitter taste in your mouth,

every time they get your name wrong.

but your mother, she tells you, to tell them.

tell them your name. say it, with a beating heart and pounding fist.

they get it wrong, they get it wrong,

it does not matter, it does not matter.

i did not name you after queens,

after warriors, after the earth

for them to swallow you whole,

for them to spit your name onto the

lands where rivers of blood shed

by the women, our women, flow.

say it, say your name,

every letter comes from me to you.

i did not name you to be softened,

to be tamed, to be changed, to be claimed.

i did not name you to be chained,

to be silenced, to be small.

i named you, my daughter,

i named you to be the strength,

to scream, to wage the war we

have been silently dying for,

to have your rage break the chains

so your daughter’s name will never

have to be dragged through their flames.

carry your name

the way warriors carry the heads

of their enemies.

carry your name

the way a queen wears her crown.

carry your name

the way our women

carried the hope for you

through generations

of war.

your name, your name.

say it, scream it, shout it,

until they say it

the way it is meant to be said.

a revolution it carries,

a revolution i named you,

a revolution your name will bring.

your name, your name.