Defiled by Julie Pavlick

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Imagine if her power were visible:

if I set my shoulders back,

standing tall,

lifting my face to her,

declaring my love for her.

She’d shine back,

using me as a platform,

to reclaim earth as her own,

burning those who didn’t follow her.

Imagine if she could speak:

if she didn’t have to howl through hurricanes,

but only used the trees to rustle my hair,

reminding me that she is behind me always.

Imagine if she could heal:

if she wasn’t forced to be in a state of destruction,

if she could stop the unwanted bleeding.

Imagine if she could:

reclaim her water,

her health,

her beauty.

What if we could just allow her to?

Julie Pavlick

Julie Pavlick is a Ph.D. student at IUP, where she focuses on African-American literature and Critical Animal Studies. First and foremost, she is a product of her environment: Raised in rural Pennsylvania, she was lovingly grown by her father, a retired coal miner, and her mother, who can be labeled as a superhero and nurse. Julie is an English adjunct instructor at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.