Here I Am

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On a blessed Saturday evening, in partnership with Woman, Create, I performed spoken word poetry for the first time ever. I am not often brave but I’m learning to be.

Didn’t get a video of the actual performance but here’s a copy of my poem, aptly named after the event itself.

Enjoy!

PS: Can’t seem to fix the spacing. Sorry if it’s weird. 😦

***

Let’s go back to the beginning:

Back when the days were long
And you would play hide and seek with mama til you found her
The marble floor kissing your feet
She’d place you high up on the kitchen counter,
Dare you to reach the sky,
Hands raised high,
Until you were the tallest thing in the room.
She looked at you like a promise,
Like downpour in a drought.
She held you up, looked to God,
Said:

“Here she is, world. Go watch out.”
Well you’re older now,
With any luck a little bolder now,
Waiting to grow into the bigness of the hopes and dreams
You’ve kept locked in that high-security system you call a heart.
Here’s the thing:
Every time a door opens you’re quick to run
Choosing to hide instead within the shadow of your own sun
You waltz closely with shame
Play the status quo game
Opting instead to be a girl with no name
How did this happen?
How did you get from standing on the counter
Arms held high so your mom could drink in the sight of you
To pulling down the curtains just so you could hide the view
Someone must’ve said something or done something
To make you feel comfortable with feeling invisible
Someone must’ve pushed you out with haste
Made you feel like a waste
Like you ought to silence the soul-expanding substance of your spirit
Somewhere along the way
Someone must’ve said that the way your voice quivers
Means you shouldn’t get a say
Well
Someone was wrong
See
There’s an error in your terror
Because you,
You belong
Here’s a history lesson, we’ll keep it in a nutshell
The 1800s had brave women with stories they wanted to tell
They wanted to be part of the system, not history’s footnote
They wanted education, a platform to speak and the right to vote
The suffragettes starved to death, got locked up, just for change
The 1920’s women lived with a slightly larger range
Yet they were living out a socially constructed life
Believing that womanhood meant being someone else’s wife
In the 60’s they pushed for a real solution
That’s when they went and started the women’s revolution
And since then we’ve been moving towards better progress
Girls can fly planes, be the boss, pass bills in congress
If you go and check Google, this information ain’t new
But I’m bringing this all up because it happened for you
Great men and women stepped into the scene
Revised history so that you could be seen
You get no points for playing small
You were not meant to hush the embers of the fire burning inside
A whole generation paved the way so you could
Take up space
And fill this place
With the best of you
May today be the day you step up
Out of where you’ve been hiding,
May you embrace the torch passed on to you
May  you find the courage to be unstoppable
May hard won liberty be what you choose
And know that when we don’t get you,
We lose
And the next time someone makes you question your place
In our big beautiful world
Remember:
You are a woman
Made of the same stuff as the freedom fighters
You are Rosa Parks
Took her place on a bus because she knew
That to belong was her birthright
You are a woman
Who faces danger
On the same lane as our best world changers
You are
Audrey Hepburn
Dame Maggie Smith
Daenerys Targaryan
Malala Yousafzai
Sheryl Sandberg
Michelle Obama
Leni Robredo
You are a woman
So occupy space
Let the weight of grace
Fall heavy on your being
Now
Go back to the beginning
To that little girl
So unafraid to be
The tallest thing in the room
She’s still in there
She’s waiting
Summon her joy
Then say it out loud
Over and over
Like the chorus of a prayer
From where you stand
Fear be damned
“Are you ready, world?
Because here I am.”
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