Come and say hello, women. The veils are still
thin and we welcome your presence, fourteen
plus all the disappeared whom you stand for.
As if you were in the prime of life now. As if
your daughters bloomed full-grown around you.
As if your mothers were crying delighted tears.
And if you were here to see what has changed
and what has not, would you hide your eyes in
shame for what has been done, what has not?
Come into the light and tell us how you are. As
if you have life beyond what we recall, remember
before this dark December claims its own again.
This poem was published on Saturday, December 6, 2014 and online:
Poem for Peace in Many Voices, Volume 2, Pendas Productions, with Bernice Vincent’s image, “Fourteen Women” (Montreal, December 6, 1989).
Photo of mother and daughter Amanda Chalmers by Gavin Stairs