Looking Back

In my youth,

“The Road not Taken” swallowed, my “Phenomenal woman”.

Natural rhythm entertaining but never enough.

Beauty defined by how straight I can get my hair.

My talent: let's see how many microaggressions one girl can bear.

But as my teen years hit,

I let self-love hit harder.

Newfound acceptance and pride,


There was a hustle in my hands,

jazz in my soul.

And as I grew a true woman

for myself, I gained others.

Gave home through my arms

forever through my lips,

as I reassured his greatness

in a country that pleads otherwise.

I know pride can be stripped away in front of and behind my back

I know I'm black.

I know I'm a woman.

I know what comes first.

I’m a life source that knows too well

the weight of death.

My children and their names,


but, not arranged at the ease of the tongue for the teacher.

And as

couch conversations flowed

my living room, my classroom.

They knew what was real.

Informing of the generations of tears

that clot their bloodstream,

And the years of resilience

that pumps through their hearts.

As I sit in the park finally alone,

I compliment the little girl whose hair is in plaits or puffs.

I reflect here for the women before, and ahead of me.

My story apart of a greater whole.

I'm just a piece,

at peace,

as a black woman.

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