I wrote this poem for Cobourg’s Take Back the Night event on September 19, 2019. I also read it at Port Hope’s Take Back the Night event on October 9, 2019.
And Still She Shines By Jessica Outram shallow breath memory in flickering streetlights and eyes of night beasts burning holes through her fists wrapped around keys and still, now she dreads night walks sometimes losing to fear on trails, it’s all my fault, scattered selves around the world —she didn’t ask for this remembering women in red dresses gone too beyond the medicine wheels she mourns for children who trust her to protect are you still there? am I still here? a story she tells herself is about tomorrow a story without a face yet tonight she shines when you raise up girls and women into the sun above homes around workplaces beyond the jungles of life she inhales your light exhaling ballads for granddaughters who will walk on shimmering streets of freedom