a month ago
I still struggle with speaking up and out.
I still lose my voice inside of my own body.
I have a son now and the mere thought weighs heavily across my shoulders.
I was raised to be seen and not heard, to be respectful to my own detriment, to smile when I want to cry.
I walk around the world with a plastic smile plastered across my face because someone else holds the key to my kingdom. Because of mortgages and bills, I must do the modern-day shuck and jive dance to people who smile in my face and measure the small of my back.
Somedays I am brave and strong. I stand tall on the shoulders of those who came before me.
I evoke the spirit of Zora. I whisper the poems of Maya.
I pray for the strength of Alice.
My face is hard, determined, ready for war. I juggle the world and a baby on these broad shoulders and still melt into his arms.
Other days I fail hard.
A part of me will always be that little girl, hiding in her room from the loud voices below. The one who’s pillow is stained with tears. The one who disappears into a paper book only to look up and realize she is still in the same broken place.
The one who said nothing when she should’ve screamed louder.
The one who ran away and didn’t come back for years, to finally live a free life.
But I want to be strong always. To swat away the hands that try to touch me and mine without permission.
To wipe off the smile that says, I have bills to pay.
To cut eyes at those who reduce me to a big butt and smile.
I evoke the spirit of Zora.
I whisper the poems of Maya.
And I pray for the strength of Alice.