UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Tattoos by Marilyn Buck

A prisoner’s observation: I read about “shock & awe,”
your country stripped Iraq: lights, phones, TVs
even the water

in my country, they don’t take your clothes
they don’t send you thousands of miles away
here prisoners know shock and awe
here they stripped me bare, took everything
my locket with my children’s pictures, I’m cut off
lucky they didn’t cut off my tattoos

They tried to steal me from myself
took my name, added a number
Only Ramos remains: Ramos 72283-212.

I am not a number I am
Sara Maria Ramos-Portillo,
not a number. I have my tattoos
every night I touch my husband’s name,
Angel Luís, with angel’s wings
over my heart, and one with flowers,
tiny red roses woven around my wrist
with Tina and Luís my children’s initials,
they can’t take them away from me
I remember who I am
and where I’m from.

I will not lose my story
My skin tattoos my song.