March 8, 2017

International Women's Day 2017 #IWD2017

For the women who came before me. Known and unknown. Seen and unseen. 
The women whose existence put them in danger and rendered them invisible in the same glance.
The women whose silence was forced by hands over mouths and boots on the neck. The women who learned what a weapon silence could be if within it there only resided faith the size of a mustard seed.
The women who did what they had to do so I could be.
The women who bore strange fruit when black love was forbidden and they were not free. 
The women who learned to love themselves, the women who didn't.
The women who thought that putting everything they had into other humans would get them into heaven.
For women who did the work.
For women who did the time.
For women who did the work and never got paid a dime.
For women who did the same thing every day and put their dreams aside
For women who were worth more to you dead than alive.
Women without a tombstone
Women without a grave
Women who the history books said were not worth saving.
Women whose labour built everything around you
Women whose DNA resides inside you.
That means their pain, their hurt, their love, their dreams.
Women who hoped for you in a time only their hearts could see.
The women who came before.
Image by  Carl van Vechten

The women who are me.
The women with invisible illnesses
Women with disabilities
Women who grin and bear the pain because the price of fighting death is too high
Women who are fighting the world just to get by
Women fighting addictions including men and their afflictions
Women fighting in project hallways, schools, prisons
Women fighting in hospitals & ICE detention centers
Women fighting at jobs where equal pay is actually double the time

Women who want to get ahead but feel safer at the back of the line.
Women who march. Women who don't. Women who can't. Women who won't.
The women who take their bodies back by saying yes
The women who take their bodies back by saying no.
The women who are killed for saying either
The women who are murdered for saying neither
The women who give birth 
The women who can't
The women who raise children because it's the right thing to do.
The women who don't want to
The women who choose not to
The women who die trying.

The women you loved first
The women you hate forever
The women who survived to create you
The women who survived you to create you.
The women who survived you.
The women who survived.
The women who thrive.
The women at the intersection of life and death.
To the women who know life as a thousand tiny deaths each day
To the women who know this but still wake up everyday
The women whose intersections have intersections.
To women who chose a path that made a way for me.
To the women who keep going despite not being able to see
To the women who walk by faith and not by sight
To the women who spit razors and stay strapped because faith without work is dead
To the women prepared to die.

For the women who make much out of nothing, and greatness out of something.
For the women who spin air and water into life.
For the women who watch fire consume it.
To the women who rise from the ashes time and time again.

Thank you.

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