sobre todos

you will not be kept down,
you who unleashes furies
in the form of phrase and note
you who twists tourniquets about the arms of the wounded
on battlefields of beats
(Flow-ence Nightingale, you darling)–

you will not be kept down.

trodden on through history,
you will weave the prints on your back into maps
to tell your soldiers where the enemy have gone;
you will overtake, overwhelm, overcome;

the war won, you will stand over your juries
in billowing cloth, treble clefs in your fists,
music staff supporting your glorious frame
(for you will of course have suffered yourself)

and you will gaze, a crowned goddess at last,
over your empire with love.

you will not be kept down.
you will persevere with grace under fire
and harness flame,

and we will speak of your glory for centuries to come,
of your fire, of your furor–
of you.

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