I teach my children to trust their beating hearts

Poetry

By Sara C. Motta

In writing. Originally read out at a #BLM rally in July 2020 in the lands of Awabakal and Worimi in so-called south east Australia.


I teach my children to trust their beating hearts
I teach my children to look for the other black kid in the class
I teach my children to know when to speak and when to keep quiet
I teach my children that when we are stopped and questioned to stay calm
hold it in

I teach my children to trust their beating hearts
I teach my children to look for the other black kid in the class
I teach my children to know when to speak and when to keep quiet
I teach my children that when we are stopped and questioned to stay calm
hold it in

I teach my children to feel the ancestors walk beside them
I teach my children how and why it can be scary in the daytime too
I teach my children it is not their fault when the bus doesn’t stop for them, the teacher ignores them, the security guard checks our bags, again
I teach my children why our experience makes no sense to peers and teachers and other supposed guides.

I teach my children to allow the grief amongst us where it is safe but not too loud, so the neighbour doesn’t call FACS or the cops
I teach my children that their anger is righteous
I teach my children to know their names and not feel afraid to correct others, for a name has power
I teach my children what I know about death and life.

I teach my children to recognise the lies
I teach my children as much as I damn can to not internalise those lies
I teach my children to find their anchor amongst the pain.
I teach my children to feel into the immenseness of their power, despite what They say.

But what do I teach my children when of a night?
I cannot sleep and pace
knowing they have her, knowing she is unwell
praying she is not the next Ms Dhu

What do I teach my children
when the call comes
that they beat her up, late at night, no one looking
as she hid so as not be be r*** again.

What do I teach my children
of the loss of their auntie Karen
head smashed to the floor by riot cops
dead alone at 39.

What do I teach my children
when hermanas
recount otra perdida
de otra companiea arrastrada desde su cama a su muerte.

What do I teach my children then?

Sara C. Motta 5 July 2020. All Power to the sisters and brothers murdered, abused and denigrated by the cops and White Institutions.


Sara C. Motta is a proud Mestiza-salvaje of Colombia-Chibcha/Muisca, Eastern European Jewish and Celtic linages currently living, loving and resisting on the unceded lands of the Awabakal and Worimi peoples, NSW, so called Australia. She is mother, survivor of state and intimate violences, poet, political theorist, popular educator, and Associate Professor at the University of Newcastle, NSW. Sara has worked for over two decades with raced and feminised communities in struggle resistances/re-existencias in, against and beyond heteronormative capitalist-coloniality in Europe, Latin America and Australia. She has co-created numerous projects of radical healing and community wellbeing in resistance to the colonial-patriarchal state and its juridical violent containments and published widely in academic and activist-community outlets. Her latest book (2018) Liminal Subjects: Weaving (Our) Liberation (Rowman and Littlefield) winner of the 2020 best Gender Theory and Feminist Book, International Studies Associate (ISA).

Learn more: https://www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/sara-c-motta

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