If I could but sing, I would sing you the melody found in the collective sighs of a people ignored. The weary exhalations of souls facing another uphill climb – the summit raised just a bit higher, the grade just a bit steeper. I’d hum the tune whistled by generations on their way home from a day of treading water while slowly drowning, the wheezing gasping gurgling refrain of life slowly extinguished. I’d sing of what could have been, bridge to what might still be, and have the chorus sing me out with a glorious rendition of what never was.
If I could but sing.
If I could but draw, I would draw you the apprehension my daughter wears as she stares at the unexplainable – the crease of her brow, the tightness in her shoulders, the hunch in her back. I would sketch the motion lines of a nation hurtling towards a barricaded door, forcing it open with little thought, caution tape torn asunder, paintings thought lost for decades now found, their harsh brush strokes erased by white-out and turpentine, only to be reborn via creative interpretation viewed through a fractured lens.
If I could but draw.
If I could but sculpt, I would sculpt you the weight on my beloved’s shoulders. I would mold the burden she carries as she lifts a new generation higher, knowing that though her back may give out today, tomorrow she will return to raise them again. I would spin an oversized urn on my wheel, adding the red clay of a blood-soaked earth to shape it higher and higher, before firing it in the kiln of heated discourse that never happened, and setting it below us all to catch the ashes of a fabled phoenix never born.
If I could but sculpt.
But I can only write.
So I will write to my daughter and pour out my heart so she can read my love even after I’m gone. I will write to my friends and family about the path we’re climbing, describing the obstacles we’ve already faced though they may wear a new coat of paint. I will write to the love of my life. I will write every day and night until she knows she’s not alone in her struggle, and that she does not do so in vain. I will write and write and write until my hand bleeds ink and blood and tears, and even then I will continue to write.
It’s all I can do…