Floetry Fridays with Nicole
This week’s poem is “Red” by Tana Cambrelen, which was featured in Obscura’s Spring 2016 issue. Over the course of the past week, in many of my English classes, social media postings, and in regular everyday fragments of conversation with friends, a reoccurring topic continuously kept being brought up. That self-respect, care, dignity, power, encouragement and ultimately LOVE is needed among women, especially when lacking from men. That women are these indescribably, fragile, maternal, deeply intriguing and powerful creatures that need to empower each other, as the rest of the world will not. I’m by NO means a by-the-books “feminist” : (This is not to put down men, or to argue sexiest, and misogynistic behavior that I have been hearing about through multiple and personal accounts) but a voice that wants to shed light on the issues that the talented Miss Cambrelen oozes in this poem. That women are not just cliché flowers that wince and break with the slightest touch, but that sometimes even when trying to live life and grow as the spectacularly beautiful and amazing human beings that they are, there always are those vultures creeping around the corner waiting to eat them alive.
She writes “You ripped me from my roots before I was even done growing. /You stopped me from reaching my full potential of what a rose really is” which is extremely relatable for any female who has invested in trying to mature, grow and nourish herself through her experiences and her journey of ups and downs. However, there are those who take that and sadistically and selfishly want to manipulate the good and victimize their evil out of their own inability to be happy within themselves. This is a catalyst for self-esteem issues, body shaming, cultural neglect and believing that women need approval or acknowledgement from those that they so badly crave attention from, but end up getting destroyed by. This poem is the raw reality of how women are misused and treated by others, which ends up reflecting on the way they view themselves. They question their beauty, their intelligence, their compassion and ultimately their worth. No one should have this power, but in a world where we all crave love and affection it is so easy to allow the wrong ones in. However, there is something so strong and BRAVE about allowing yourself to be vulnerable with another, even when they don’t end up having your best interests at heart. It does not make any women weak, or foolish. It makes them human, and these magical empathetic veins of resilience that they should never let anyone tarnish.
“You blame me but/you knew I was a rose when you picked me” is the perfect close to such an immensely bare and openhearted poem. That the light women shine is seen by others and that is why they are chosen to lay on that operating table and be dissected, and be an experiment to those with blatant cruelty. It should not be something that’s allowed to be dimmed, but instead challenged and that starts from the love that needs to escape from inside. That there will always be obstacles, but that the journey will always be worth the lessons. These types of people are just annoying roadblocks that need to be overcomed, to understand that love, warmth and beauty comes from each other and within; not from anyone and anything else. BE EMPOWERED, STAY as they say “UNBOTHERED”, AND KNOW YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL.
Black, White, Hispanic, Small, Thin, Thick, Blonde, Brunette, Tall, Short, etc. etc. etc. You are a FIERY RED. The RED of blood that flows through your body. The Red of that rose petal that is blooming to life. The Red of the fire in the embers reflected in your eyes. The Red of that heart that loves so strong. YOU. ARE. RED.