~ Gertrude B. McClain
I can’t. I just can’t. I can’t do it all.
I can’t be all things to all people At all times and under all circumstances.
I can’t be the one to always change my plans to suit another’s.
I can’t be the one to pick up after others all the time.
I can’t work all day and stop at the grocery and cook dinner And have it ready by 6:30.
I can’t carry the weight of the world on my shoulders.
I need some support, too, and a rest.
I can’t; can’t, can’t cantaloupe, can’t canticle, can’t cantilever,
Cantina, cantata, cantankerous, cannon,
Canape, canard, candelabra, can… can…,
Can I? Can I just do it? Can I do it all?
Can I ration my time to allow for my priorities?
Can I ask others to share the burdens?
Can I refuse this role of superwoman?
Can I just ‘say no?’ I can. I can just say no.
I can just say, “I’m out of the business of doing it all.”
I can take time for myself to breathe
And dream or just sit quietly.
And I will!
I am a woman that is black and beautiful inside and out, filled with joy and pride.
I am a woman as graceful as a butterfly; a woman that can be seen and heard.
I am a woman that is cunning, a woman of skill and knowledge.
I am a woman with strength, to knock down any boundaries keeping me from my journeys of life.
I am a woman that dreams to have a life of an angel with never ending love and happiness.
I am a woman that’s your lover and friend, and keeps you feeling loved and secure.
I am a woman of respect and admiration; respecting and admiring mind, body and soul.
I am a woman with a passionate kiss and lips as soft as fresh rose petals.
I am a woman, leaving you wanting and wishing for more.
I am a woman with a charm that’s as radiant as the sunshine.
I am a woman full of laughter, giggles and grins, which is the medicine of the soul.
I am a woman with my own identity, look into my eyes and you’ll see who I am.
~Created from Shayla Parks’ Poem
The laughter of women sets fire
to the Halls of Injustice
and the false evidence burns
to a beautiful white lightness
It rattles the Chambers of Congress
and forces the windows wide open
so the fatuous speeches can fly out
The laughter of women wipes the mist
from the spectacles of the old;
it infects them with a happy flu
and they laugh as if they were young again
Prisoners held in underground cells
imagine that they see daylight
when they remember the laughter of women
It runs across water that divides,
and reconciles two unfriendly shores
like flares that signal the news to each other
What a language it is, the laughter of women,
high-flying and subversive.
Long before law and scripture
we heard the laughter, we understood freedom.
~ Lisel Mueller
I Looked At The Mirror
Mirror, Looked Back At Me
I Asked The Mirror
What Do You See?
The Mirror Smiled
“Same As You See”
I Touched The Mirror
The Mirror, Touched Me
Pressing To Break Thru
For Tho’ Eye To Eye
Sometimes I See
Is Left To Me
And My Right Side … Made Mirror Left
I Got Perplexed At Imagery
And I Turned Away From Mirror
And Mirror Turned From Me
Our Backs To Each Other
But, Both Turned Back To Face
And Touch Same Place, And Be
Contained and Content
In Each Other’s Space Respectfully
We Shattered The Barrier
Between Mirror and Me
Back To Reflecting Our World
And The Same Things, We See …
Oh … Mirror, Mirror …
Reflecting You … Seeing Me …
The strength of a woman is carrying the burden of family without
expectation that someone will feel her pain or cry her tears.
The strength of a woman is the first one to wake up and
the last to go to bed.
The strength of a woman is to pretty and doll up all the masks
she has to wear in order to survive.
The strength of a woman is crying herself to sleep at night then
embracing you in the morning with a hug and a smile.
The strength of a woman is my mother,
a woman who says she’s okay when you can tell she’s in pain,
a woman who smiles when the going gets tough and
a woman who finds laughter after crying.
The strength of a woman is to raise a child she does not know.
The strength of a woman hears a child’s cry and
knows exactly what they want.
The strength of a woman is courage and independence.
The strength of a woman is doing whatever it takes to survive.
The strength of a woman is the backbone that holds everyone together
. . . behind every strong man there is a strong woman.
The strength of a woman is her ability
to hold her tongue when her significant other is wrong
to stop her children from misbehaving with a look in her eye
to pick herself up and dust herself off
to make her family smile in the midst of a storm
to multi-task and adapt to different situations
to swallow her pride.
The strength of a woman is her unconditional love
for her children and others.
The strength of a woman is to be a peacemaker.
The strength of a woman is to be able to feel things no one else can.
The strength of a woman is to be able.
Helping others when they are in need,
always there to take the lead.
Suffering hard times not for long,
because her will is very strong.
Makes you happy with lots of jokes,
most importantly they are jokes of hope.
Her colors are beautiful—scarlet red—
lots of blessings upon her head.
The strength of a woman we’ll always know,
because her strength will always show.
~ By New Foundations Writers, May 7, 2010
Founded in 1994, New Foundations is a non-profit organization located on St. Paul’s East Side that provides permanent, supportive, affordable housing and comprehensive on-site services for homeless dually-diagnosed chemically dependent and mentally ill adults in recovery and their families.
”A strong woman knows she has strength for the journey,
but a woman of strength
knows it is in the journey where she will become strong.”