Black Woman in America

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

Black Woman in America

By Terryn Witherspoon-Woolfolk
I sit waiting, looking at Beyoncé, wondering
When will my face get light and my bottom get fat
Then Instagram came, and I sat wondering
When will my hair get silky, straight, and long
Before then, I sat in a classroom both young and strong, thinking
When will the boys choose me over her: she’s just thin and blonde
So I sat, and the fury grew but inside derived a solution in which I was fond
When will I live in the South? Blackness is appreciated there
So I sat studying with dreams of a place where people weren’t fair
Then I’ll be the pretty one. Yes. When.

I sit waiting in front of the tv screen, finally being able to understand the implications of politics.
When will they stop with the fits of rage
I sit waiting for the results and the final vote
When one man could harm my people and the other gave hope
I sit much older now, in the South being black
When will I like tight clothes and my hair slicked back
I sit, hating that I don’t talk like them
When will I fit in, so it becomes we, not them
I sit knowing they’re my people after all
So when will my blackness be accepted by all, even them
I sit wishing I could relate more to the struggle of survival-type tasks because
When I grew up, all I had to do was ask.
I sat once, giving much of myself away
Just so they could say, welcome, you belong.

I sit, waiting for a text back
When will he see me, me? The one that has his back and front covered.
I sit waiting on the phone for him to choose someone to see
When will anyone choose me?
I sit listening to him say he’s always loved black women; could that be me?
When he said that, I remembered I looked nothing like Bey.’
I sat remembering that I don’t talk like them
When he said that, I remembered I don’t walk like them
I sat thinking, how could he choose me?
When they never chose me so I could go to we
I sat crying when I realized he could see
When he said there was no them, nor we, only me
I sat full because he recognized I
Knowing now, I didn’t have to hide.

I sit here writing wondering, who was them
When did I make the division, and who divided we
I sit here writing wondering if there is a different them that doesn’t want me to be we
When did we leave identity up to the powers that be
I sit here writing wondering was this the original design
When did they decide, the different they, when did they confine
I sit here thinking it must have been intentional
When the original them just called it traditional
I sit here thinking that they, the second they, have used our bodies for entertainment, and called it good.
When they separated we by making me want something I could not attain
I sit here thinking that I can’t determine the line between empowerment and oppression
When I thought about what I would say if they became me and we became we, it started an obsession in me
I sit believing that we will use the keys for which we’ve fought to release each woman, man, brother, sister, father, and mother
To fly with the others
So each caged bird could go free to be who they want to be
Do not let them hem you in, no go
And fly with them
Rise on your ancestors pain
and soar even when it rains