Saturday, April 28, 2018

Shirley Luke on the Tattooed Poets Project

Today's Tattooed Poet is Shirley Luke, who sent us this image of what she refers to as her "Mama Dragon Tattoo:"

Shirley tells us:

"I got inked 14 years ago when my son was born. He was a premie, born 2 months early. I got the tattoo when was was released from the hospital. It represents how anyone who messes with my son will get burned. The first letter in his name is in the heart that the dragon holds, protecting my son.

The tattoo was done at a shop in Quincy, Massachusetts by an artist whose name she has forgotten.

Shirley also shared the following poem:

She Wears the Mark

I am the true mother of dragons
red skin dynasty,  rising claws
striking down the dangers
from an unjust society.
A tongue from Africa,
protecting her child,
the next generation
to cross the skies,
burn the mountains
and travel through
forests, following their elders'
path forged by their sacrifice,
so these children of the scaled
flesh will not become beasts
of no nation & blaze
a path of their own.

~ ~ ~

Shirley Jones Luke is a poet and a writer. Ms. Luke lives in Boston, Mass. She has an MFA from Emerson College. Her work merges poetry with memoir. Shirley was a 2017 Poetry Fellow at the Watering Hole Poetry Retreat.

Thanks to Shirley for sharing her tattoo and poem with us here on the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2018 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

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