Poem: “I Am Woman”

I am Woman

 

When you see me what do you see?

Do you see my wide nose? My lovely lips?

Do you see my form, imitated but never duplicated?

Do you see my smooth, sun-kissed brown skin?

Or do you see the abundant coils atop my crown?

Is it the pleasing symmetry of my corporeal being?

 

Do you not see the disapprobation on my face?

Do you not see my displeasure? My distaste?

Perhaps if I ignore you, you‘ll go away. Oh wait…

 

You can stop staring. I can feel your objectifying gaze.

I hear your thoughts and see them in your eyes.

If you haven‘t noticed, I‘m the vision that stares back.

Did you ever consider that I am not an object?

I am dynamic, I am a person deserving of respect.

 

I am me. I am woman. I am proud. I am the beloved.

You think I wear these colors for your gaze? Ha!

I wear my womanhood for my foremothers.

You cannot take it away or deny it-

You can only take it in with your eyes.

 

Your catcalls and jeers will not call me down or out.

I have my business to attend to and you yours.

You can claim the streets, but I have the world.

Touch me again and you‘ll wither under my wrath.

Feminine fury has no match- none that I know of

 

Head held high, sloping strides, eyes forward

I march through a world- a fallen world

The same world that colonized my ancestors

The same world that commodifies my form

The same world that denies me my humanity

 

I am woman. Have you not heard?

I came not from Adam‘s foot, but his rib.

He could not trample me without hurting himself

For I am his counterpart, his complement

He needs me just as I need him.

 

I am woman. I am not some common object-

I will not be fondled and bullied into submission.

No sir, your unwelcome touch is not pleasing.

Do you know that you defile that which is sacred?

I am the aromatic Rose of Sharon much-sought-after

 

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7 Comments

Filed under "Blackness", Beauty, Culture, Hair, life, Poetry, Race, Womanism

7 responses to “Poem: “I Am Woman”

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Poem: “I Am Woman” « Defying History: Christian and Womanist Perspectives -- Topsy.com

  2. I especially like the penultimate stanza.

  3. Lovely! This part:

    I am woman. Have you not heard?

    I came not from Adam‘s foot, but his rib.

    He could not trample me without hurting himself

    For I am his counterpart, his complement

    He needs me just as I need him.

    ..is just WONDERFUL!

    • aconerlycoleman

      Sumayyah! I’m sorry it took so long to repond- your comment was caught in my spam queue, (I’m glad I checked!).

      I think that stanza is particularly inspired. It certainly didn’t come from me!

  4. “I wear my womanhood for my foremothers.” Crafty enough to make a man jealous. Totally inspired.

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