Dasha Kelly Hamilton is a writer, performance artist, and creative change agent, applying the creative process to facilitate dialogues around human and social wellness. She is the author of two novels, three poetry collections, four spoken word albums, and one collection of personal vignettes. She has taught at colleges, conferences, and classrooms and curated fellowships for emerging leaders. An Arts Envoy for the U.S. Embassy, Dasha has facilitated community building initiatives in Botswana, Toronto, Mauritius, and Beirut. Her touring production, Makin’ Cake, uniquely engages communities in a forward dialogue on race, class, and equity. Dasha is a national Rubinger Fellow and, concurrently, Poet Laureate for the City of Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin.
Hope is a Bruise
By Dasha Kelly HamiltonAdded: Tuesday, April 6, 2021 / Used with permission.
Paintball pellets batter shoulders
and thighs at 190 miles per hour
I count the purplish bruises and
smile at the post vision of us toasting
laughing, being vibrantly alive
The woman who pierced my nose
Rushed outside afterwards for a cigarette
Whether my nostril or her nerves were to blame
We both survived an ordeal that day
I don’t think of the sweat on her lip
or the tears on my cheek when my jeweled
Black nose disrupts canonical spaces
Agony delineates child bearing from child rearing
Pain is the anticipated toll: the impossible stretch of skin and orifice,
wrenching of organs, the pinch and nip of nursing
I received no pamphlets about the pangs of panic and impotence
The deep marrow rupture when their ache explodes beyond your reach
A formation of police fired rubber bullets at my child
200 feet per second in defense of hatred and spiteful ignorance
She raged back in protest until her throat rasped, her heels
blistered and she shattered into sobs once safe in our home, in my arms
They gassed and maced my baby. She marched again the next day.
And the next and the next and the next and the next
Hope is a bruise, a nervous smoke and an unrelenting calvary
Listen as Dasha Kelly Hamilton reads ""Hope is a Bruise"."