I believe that the Eve of a new millennium abuses the history of silence

A found poem constructed from a speech given by Hillary Clinton for the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China on September 5, 1995 (transcript, video).

Distinguished delegates and guests,

I would like to be part of this World.

The home is a coming together

Much the way we come together, living

In the river, water

We come about our concerns

And time divides us.

We share a common future:

we find stability in focusing on

the lives of chance.

Question the reason for homes.

Wonder, look at the women who run.

Compel people to face:

Wasn’t the first time violence?

I, individual.

I, women.

Lives, violence (chance as equal).

And women has a stake in place, the world.

I have to plan care.

I talk about knowing that children can be cared for, safe.

I have met women who helped lead the struggle to end

Care (The materials to create themselves).

Women notice care.

At the very moment, as we sit here

Giving birth, running, dying

Watching children, denied the right to their own fathers

Forced to be here, to speak,

Those who speak can’t afford to care (women whose lives are violence).

Homes speak

all night, during the day.

Speaking to you today, I speak for them.

each of us denied chance

to have a say about the direction of

the truth

because both inside and outside

we understand that there is no formula

each woman makes herself

the choice, the chance

to recognize that we will never

respect control.

Destinies cannot be fully achieved

Accept to long.

men are protections,

freedoms from personal security

the right to remain silent

used as an instrument

Tragically, women make up the world

Excluded from, vulnerable to

I believe that the Eve of a new millennium

abuses the history of silence

The voices must be heard loud and clear:

When denied, drowned, suffocated, broken, born girls

Set fire to marriage

Deemed too small.

It is a violation when war is home.

Mutilation is women against will.

Echoes let us not forget that

to endure is indefensible

to attend, prohibit from fully taking part

clear away the peaceful

struggle bloodless, without a shot fired

we remind men to see war

we have to diminish everywhere

the act of care

to realize that we care for


Sarah Chekfa designs and writes in Manhattan, New York.