Tuesday, March 18, 2014

For Nadia, and all my sisters

Girls don't come grown as me
Not girls
Not me
Not us
Not these hips

Sister Harriet
Sister Sojourner

Do you know what it is to be grown
You do
You know what it is to be grown and black and artist

Sister Wanda
Sister Octavia

It is to be resilient
It is to be witch
See how witch I am
See the witch in yourself
Do you know which witch you are
See these fingers cast spells

Sister Toni
Sister writer

To be grown and woman is to conjure
To know
To believe

Do you angels in the clouds
Do you know Oshun
Have you seen me dance
Do you dance
Do you dance
Does your belly wiggle
Do you wave hands
Do you hold heart
Do you know the lives I have saved with my words
With these words
With Gods words
Does God open your mouth and speak through you
Do you know the lives I have saved with my feet
With my jelly and grits and biscuits

You are a healer
I know you are a healer

Sister V
Sister Sequoia
Sister Riua
Sister Pam
Sister Imani
Sister Tchise

You are healers
You are brave

Sister Nadia
Sister Mahogany

You are brave
Do you know Obatala
Do you know the heavens
Does tomorrow speak to you

Sister Vashti
Sister Mary
Sister Mary
Sister sister

You are a seer
I know you are a seer
Are you a speaker
Do you tell lives
Does God reveal Herself to you
Does God sit Himself on your sofa
Did you feel Jesus weep
Did you wrap yourself in his tears

Sister Valerie
Sister Leslie
Sister Charisse
Sister Janea

Sister Ocean
Sister Moon
Sister Sky

Are you grown
Are you ready
Do you how grown and ready you are

Do you know what love is
Are you afraid to love yourself
Do you know your breasts so fine
Do you know your legs and thighs

Do you know
Do you know love
Can you look into your eyes without a mirror
Can you dance without a partner

You are brave
You are brave

Do you know what it is to glide
To feed a family on a dollar ninety-nine

Are you ready

Sister Angela
Sister bald fists in the air
Sister song
Sister poet

Do you know what it is like
To not be loved
Except by yourself
Except from your own black skin

Sister Lupita
Sister Alec
Sister model
Sister dancer

Do you know Ogun
Do you know the color red
Do you know Ogun will kill for you
Do you know
Are you careful

Do you know secrets grown women know
Sister secretary
Sister judge
Sister cook
Sister basketball player
I know we eye each other in the market isles

You know we know the revolution

How you gonna spell revolution without love
Without revolt
Without grown women
Like us

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