Courage

How dramatic the transformation is when I turn lioness
how dangerous courage is
how beautiful too
how tingly the feeling when you throw caution to the wind
when an introvert speaks
you know that little mustard seed’s got a fire
how revolutionary to be humble in spirit,
but courageous in character.
The weight of this bravery
both heavy and powerful
how sensitive and warrior I am at the same time.
How powerful strength is
when you don’t know that it is there.

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Courage

Close up portrait of a young african american woman looking out window when working on laptop

I know that it is never easy

to wear scarlet letters on your skin

to take history

and C-section her calendars

for the stories

that didn’t make it

until you find the authenticity

of truth

like consciousness

beautiful

but delicate

see through

and cutting

like shattering glass

piercing the spirit

and slicing through flesh and bone

so no one looks at the news the same

but for those of you

who have cherished her summers

kissed her springs

embraced the coldest winters ever

and dared to wear her degradation

on your lips

for your courage to find the other pieces

of her

the parts society is too fearful

of hearing

she bathes in your smile

because you loved her, truth

saw her delicate

and fragile

torn between the additions

and subtractions

that multiplied her sorrows

until her parts were divided

ripping her reality from the pages of scripture

like confused tongues

and babblings

snatching her away

from the breast of wisdom

like coal painted faces

minstrel shows

whitewashed genesis

cream-colored pharaohs

but she is not interested

that you feel sorry for her

history

she needs not of your pride

not of your bonafie hustlers

in prophet suits

not of your street corners

not of your liquor stores

not even of your religion

for her stone coated roses are too heavy

to place upon your caskets

for even in death

you have honored yourself

above her

truth

needs not of your chocolate bars

for history is tired of eating

she is sick

to the brim

with prophecies

and worries

and concerns

and birth pains

over those who wear her burden

like the colors of their skins

but she is thankful

that they have chosen to rather be humiliated

than to deny her

and this poem

is for all

their bravery.