It’s a known thing that
And its sole stewardship
Is often the last firm ground
Of Self or Determination
Upon which the dispossessed,
The disenfranchised and the disempowered
Have to stand and plant a defiant flag.
I myself have earned a name
For being stubborn, evasive, combative
In the face of unhelpful help offered–
The thin garment worn by control.
I have resisted in the face of
Accusations that I am lazy,
“Unwilling to help myself”
Because I could not bear to relinquish
This last thing that was mine
The secret labor that has
Given me the only strength
Of purpose I have known
These many months,
In this exile from sovereignty.
In so many ways, literature,
Culture and Science of the West
Have deemed Secrecy the province
Of the Fairer Sex alone.
But if we kept secrets it was not
From some inborn nature to the habit.
But a need to keep something all ours.
Free from prying eyes and destructive hands.
I smile into the tilt of the glass
A bitter-sweet brew, this Secret,
This labor soon to bear fruit
Come hell or high water.