I write poetry because I was once a whisper in a crowded hallway,
A light breeze in the eye of a hurricane,
I was there alright, but not there enough to warrant a passing glance.
Because if a little girl shouts in a crowd but nobody bothers to listen, does she make a sound?
I write poetry because in middle school while giving presentations, male teachers would tell me not to speak so loud, to talk faster.
Silly girl, what does your word mean to him?
Just stare at your feet and mumble through it all like before.
Take the grade, and sit back down.
Be grateful for what you have.
I write poetry, because ladies aren’t allowed to yell, and spit, argue and clash.
Or have feelings that don’t revolve around the holy worship of the men who have bestowed such great rights upon women.
As if we didn’t fight, and struggle, and perish at the hands of our oppressors that have swindled and stolen our accomplishments, ideas, and inventions.
I write poetry because the word “woman” has been slung at me like it’s the Devil’s tongue whispering for Eve to eat the apple in the Garden of Eden.
Like by hearing the word woman reach my ears I should feel the hot flush of shame on my face,
Flinching away as he says
“Know your place, woman”.
I write poetry for all the women that were too busy to spill ink or lay their heart on parchment.
I write for Joan who burned for her womanhood and witches hung for theirs.
I write for women who were never taught to hold a pencil in their hand or read books, because their hands were busy callousing on hard wood broom sticks and wrinkling in dirty laundry water.
And I write poetry to the women who’s voices are louder than mine.
To the women with voices as big as their heart and stood up against evil and said “No, not today, not ever”.
I write to Malala and Angela Davis Because I heard them and they inspire me to be heard too.
I write poetry because boys are allowed to have a bad day.
Allowed to be vicious, evil, and raise their voice at me like it’s my fault life realized they’re an asshole and got in some karma.
But I am simply an over-hormonal doll programmed to only think with my heart, and not my head,
Because I’m obviously just on my period for being something other than a lovelorn lust ladling label-faced ditz that you can check out like a library book whenever you so desire my attention
…and return me when you find out I’m Sci-Fi and not Romance
(Maybe you should have read the back).
But I am not an item you can scan,
I cannot be bought, sold, or traded.
You cannot turn my pages because I am not a book,
I am a human.
But more importantly, I am a woman.
And I wrote poetry when I was just background noise and chatter during life’s intermission.
But I kept it in a journal in my backpack and it would collect dust and tears and silent cries for help in the form of rhymed words and rambling metaphors.
But hearts can only take so much and mine was spilling over the brim.
Now I shout rhymes from tabletops
Gesturing and spitting and smiling and shaking.
I write poetry because I am no whisper of the wind.
I am the hurricane.
I am the wild fire.
I am the monster in your closet,
And I am the love of your life holding you until you fall asleep.
Because I am a woman.
And I write poetry for me.