Educator and Activist Polly Atwood Pens Poem

Please enjoy this wonderful poem by Gardarev supporter, educator and activist, Polly Atwood, who attended our Fall 2011 forum.  The forum featured Fay Chiang (writer and visual artist), Letta Neely (poet and playwright) and Chaw Ei Thein (visual and performance artist).  Polly teaches about multiculturalism in the School of Education at Northeastern University.  Please do not use this poem without first obtaining our permission. Thank You.

“Women of the Dream”
By Polly Atwood

They came to stay for five days
Three women, their work, their dreams
Simple and ample accommodations
Set in a hidden treasure of the city – community gardens, trails for walking
– the fox trail, the rabbit trail, the snail trail — room to wander, room
to unwind, room to invite and hear the muse. Room to create from the heart.

They came to stay for five days
They listened for the stories that needed telling, the dreams unfulfilled
Their gifts take different forms – the poem, the stage, the play, the public
They draw on all of who they are to give voice to the truths coming through
They honor their ancestors, their people’s struggles, the strength of the
human spirit and its demand for justice.

They came to stay for five days.
They stayed in a small brick house.
A former home for doctors who worked at a state mental hospital
I wonder were the spirits of that community listening?
What was it that made them insane?
What deferred dreams did they live with?
What truths would set them free?

They came to stay for five days
These women of the dream
These women who dare to tell truths and call for a different world
They ask us to listen, to open our hearts, to be touched and changed.
They ask us to live the dream now.

Copyright 2011 Polly Atwood