Who's That Lady
Who’s that lady
Is that a woman over there
fast away at the gray desk,
closed off in the spider-webbed corner?
Do you see her
hiding behind made-up lies
of someone else’s perception of
red lipstick and blue-black, eye-lined lids?
That couldn’t be a woman
bossing the office men around,
setting financial standards,
being heard by all members present.
Couldn’t be a woman
saying no to marriage,
saying no to settling for protection.
Yes! that’s her
with the strong back like an over-used mule,
and heavy-duty arms picking up the scattered pieces
left on the cracked ground, meant
to stray her away from a happy life.
That woman ain’t meant to be happy,
angry fits her better.
That woman ain’t supposed to be happy,
bearer of civilization is all she’s good for
That woman ain’t a woman,
she’s a machine and when she breaks
it’s time for a replacement.
I see lines of text saying what she is and what she ain’t—
documents saying what she can and what she caint.
And right when my head feels like it’s
about to fall off, I see words saying
forget all that—
I am me and that’s all that matters.
I see Freedom in the broken glass of Lemonade,
I see my seat at the table of affirmers,
I taste the bad feminism in my mouth,
I hear the caged birds singing—
I hear Maya in the background
nodding her head, pointing her finger
“Ooh, and ain’t She bad
and ain’t She Black?
And ain’t She fine”,