Our Bodies, Our Rules

By Sky Hawkins

These hands have written letters with pens
                                                pressed stamps
                                                                    sealed envelopes with this tongue whilst

posting in the mouth of a letter box
These hands have typed enough essays to earn a space for my name on a degree certificate
These hands have held back people to protect others from attacks
Held the homeless to soften the harshness of government policies
Held books whilst these eyes absorb words
They say reading is knowledge and knowledge is power
These hands have stroked dogs and cats and horses and pigeons and rats
Filled hot water bottles, changed car tyres

And this nose smells flowers

These fingers have typed texts to tell a friend to stop giving herself such a hard time
Dug earth whilst planting seeds and have picked a thousand raspberries

                        These hands have strummed guitars
                                                                            banged on drums
                                                                                                    glided over piano keys

Held a face between their palms whilst these lips kissed each eye lid closed
These hands have wrote poems that have healed injured hearts and painted art
Held her hair back whilst she was being sick down the toilet
Carried bags of shopping, made meals to feed families

            These arms have cradled others whilst hearing cries
                                                                                            they couldn’t understand
        These arms have carried protest banners in streets of Newcastle Manchester London
                        Swung from arms of trees
                                                            gathered branches to build fires
                                                                                                            made cups of tea

These arms have held onto necks whilst piggybacking home
Held her up whilst she was too drunk to get safely home

These legs have danced through streets in high heels and still dream of being a ballerina

                    These legs have hiked up hills
                                                            rested on top
                                                                                eyes breathed in sunsets

These legs have run to save my life
These feet have skipped over steppingstones, played hopscotch in dirty back lanes

And these lips have smiled at strangers on the Metro and the Tube

                        These legs have walked
                                                        and walked
                                                                and walked to people and places and for peace

Six miles along Duridge Bay beach in the 80s to protest nuclear power
These legs have done ridiculous spin classes
Swum naked in rivers
                                                    dangled off the edges of piers
Stepped on and off Greyhound buses

These legs have wrapped themselves around his back
                                                                                    to hold him close
                                                                                                        so he knows it’s him they trust

And this womb makes humans
These eyes and ears work together, share untold stories
This brain gathers data, more impressive than any computer
This heart pumps blood
These treelike lungs breathe in and out and in and out
This skin that cuts
                                    heals in time

Yet still
I hear , see , smell , taste , feel
It’s what we look like

                                that matters


Directed by Matthew Thompson.

Reproduced by kind permission of the author.