I am not a super woman,

hero, or some other figure

of grandiose actions

beholden to the responsibility

of this veil before me.


I am not special,

even though all women are special.

The strength I am and have

is inherent, but not inherited.

Its power, I must choose to take on

with discern and consideration

and be ready to wield.


Stories of these colors

tattoo the history of my heart

and hold in me the struggle

of a jaded past,

skewed outside of red’s, white’s and blue’s

and leave me tarnished and gray.


Where am I found

in this picture of vibrant perfection

with colors that stand tall,

separate and alone,

yet remain encrusted

with the stains of blood

and deceitful, unrepentant deeds

as time moves forward?


How does one blend

with that which does not run?

The memories of which

intrude on my rest

while the world sleeps.


The twisted tithes strip me down.

They attack

to brand trees on my back

as I sprint for freedom

and life, pursuing happiness.


Bare feet dig through

a lost Gossypium forest of hope,

slashing me as I pass and evade,

slipping through

undergrounds and railroads

to a forgotten land called liberty.


I awaken to my sheets stained

with the passing of a life,

leaking from wounds

with the wonder of where I am.


I find myself still searching

for that which is right before me.

This sheet can only smother,

not wrap, nor hold, or keep warm.


In the elusive call of liberty

it comes forth with its colors

and my shade

is not a part of its reflection.


We are not the some of these parts

that hide the real truth

behind a banner

of trust and welcome.


And yet I stand.


This is where I am found,

before the backdrop of these three colors

honed, separate but woven

in stars and stripes. And I,

tall and proud,

held in the bonded strength of myself.


It is a part of me,

even though some say

I am not a part of it.


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