People are afraid of powerful women…I think.
My mama once told me “beware of sparks.”
Because sparks are usually the beginning of something bigger
Of a fire
And sparks can easily slip by
Like lost kisses blown to the wind,
Only to latch onto
A passing branch and set the whole damn world
My mama once told me to tread lightly on water
Because calm tides have
Rippling currents that can
Wash away cities.
Water is a hurricane
And hurricanes are unstoppable —
With passion roaring in her eyes,
My mama taught me not to fear the powerful
Once, I almost fell in love
And even now, I can still feel his electricity coursing
Through my veins, as if his skin were adrenaline and he
Was shot straight into my heart.
He was my beginning of something bigger.
If I close my eyes, I can still see his fingers caressing
The piano keys; they did the same little dance
His eyes did when he looked at me.
When we went out to dinner, he always ordered
Because he knew exactly what I wanted.
When I brought him home to meet my family,
He spoke all the words I wanted to say,
So I didn’t have to.
My mama watched with disapproving fierce eyes
And with a loud, demanding voice,
She told me to speak.
One night, we went out to eat
And I told him no.
He laughed and shook his head as if a woman
Had no diligence nor palette to know what she wanted.
When I brought him home, he finished my
Sentences as if there were gaps.
But my sentences were perfect.
My mama told me beware of sparks
But I made I made her proud when I told him to leave.
My mama told me not to fear the powerful
So I will not deny my ability to shine,
And I set his world on fire.
When I left, my name was embedded on his chest
My face imprinted in the back of his eyelids.
He did not breathe or sleep
Without thinking of me.
I am the spark and
I will not fear myself.
To all the women who are afraid to be powerful.
People are afraid of powerful women.
People are afraid of the spark in her eyes
That is bright enough to start a wildfire,
But she simmers it down just enough to start a stove to feed her family.
On Christmas morning, I watched my mama’s
Spark dwindle her eyes
As if a piece of her drowned with my grandfather --
She was washed away by a hurricane.
But she found her way back to me
With arms full of chocolate and ice cream
Because powerful women are not afraid to cry.
Fire spreads by latching onto its surroundings
So I held my mom’s hand over
Chocolate and ice cream and hoped to give her
A piece of my spark that
She lent me to start my fire.
To all the women who are afraid to be powerful
We do not need a man to feel our heartbeat
Pounding in our ears
We can tell what we want to put in our stomachs
Because that’s what it is — ours.
Our sentences may be fragmented
But they do not need fixing
We are imperfect.
I am imperfect.
I can look into a mirror to see
All my imperfections and still think I am beautiful.
The next man lucky enough to see my soul will
Recite my birth marks and trace my unbridged nose
He will tell me I am beautiful and I will laugh
And shake my head because I know I am.
It is hard to feel insecure when all I feel is love.
I can walk into college knowing I might stumble and fall
But I am not ashamed of knowing I am intelligent
Enough to keep trying.
It is hard to feel small when all I feel is confident.
You do not need intelligence or beauty to be powerful
You need a voice that you want to share
You need a spark that demands to be caught
Onto curtains and latched onto branches
And it’s okay if you don’t have one yet
Because I’m here to give you a little of mine.