I couldn’t help but pair one of my favorite poems with this image.
On Stripping Bark from Myself, by Alice Walker
Because women are expected to keep silent about
their close escapes I will not keep silent
and if I am destroyed (naked tree) someone will
mark the spot
where I fall and know I could not live
hearing their “how nice she is!”
whose adoration of the retouched image
I so despise.
No. I am finished with living
for what my mother believes
for what my brother and father defend
for what my lover elevates
for what my sister, blushing, denies or rushes
I find my own
a standing self
against the world
an equality of wills
I have lived to understand.
My struggle was always against
an inner darkness: I carry within myself
the only known keys
to my death – to unlock life, or close it shut
forever. A woman who loves wood grains, the colour
and the sun, I am happy to fight
all outside murderers
as I see I must.