Liberation Study

I’m proud of this piece. More specifically, I’m proud of the patience to finally wait it out. For many years, I didn’t understand what it was about, and finally after 30 years when I did, the language felt forced and it still didn’t capture what I was looking for. When I caught our reflection in the bus window, I knew it was done.

Although 30+ years does has a price. The political discourse and cosmology feels dated, limiting it’s relevance. With that said, I still think it still has value.

Liberation Study

charcoals and sketchbook on my lap
on the bus a la universidad
we pass her out back
before the afternoon rains

a cross of weathered board and nails
suspending line and laundry above hard-packed dust

clothespins braced between her fingers and teeth
struggling against billowing sheets
arms raised overhead gathering bedding
gust, snap — la fe
gust, snap — la dignidad
gust, snap — la lucha

mi compañera next to me
struggle, why do we push struggle
I don’t know
why do they always sell faith
setting down my stick
I rub the tips of my blackened fingers
catching our reflection, I laugh
I guess we’re left with dignity

then the wind shifts
through her loose strands of pelo and floral frock
gust, snap
praising, surrendering
or hanging wash

© 1989-2022 Brian Brown-Cashdollar