STILL, I RISE
Today Maya Angelou died,
blessing my life with more understanding,
issues of life and death,
fading into the background of history.
She blessed me once with words and imagery,
rising above with womanhood and shifting hips,
nose up and words out she stated herself to be herself,
raped as a young girl in the blackness of her life,
rising to occasions that I’ll never know the tune to.
Did you rise like water as the sailboat rocked without permission,
did you rise above the hatred of your colored birth and that segregation?
Did you rise above those thighs with upward drawn chin,
Voicing the strife of life and the spice of life all at once.
Diamonds are meant to be admired and asked to touch,
you stuff and stuff and stuff and stuff… stuff stuff stuff
don’t call my stuff a muff, or tough, or any vulgarity in plurality,
And still I Rise. My thighs. My eyes. My lives.
I’m a white stallion with a beautiful mane,
Flashing my hair along with my pain,
Dashing along to another location,
Hey God, do diamonds remind you of this horrid menstruation?
Get Your hands off me too!
Still I rise and breathe and have my being,
I rise to Your call because my choice was stolen!
Leaving behind days of suffering and fear,
Bearing rejections scares and violated being,
Wisdom, independence, passion, and pride,
Maya, your poem encouraged me that day,
Rising from the ashes of my families actions of shame,
I enjoyed the sternness and encouragement of victory,
Twisting my life around shared feelings of loss and action.
Thank you Maya Angelou for rising above.
Maya Angelou’s famous poem “Still I Rise” can be found here: http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/still-i-rise. She died today at the age of 86. CNN wrote “A literary voice revered globally for her poetic command and her commitment to civil rights has fallen silent.”