like a natural woman

credit - stephen matteson, nyt co, getty images

credit – stephen matteson, nyt co, getty images

Although our opening poem was not a song but the sassy ‘PHENOMENAL WOMAN‘ by Maya Angelou, last week’s writing ran the gamut from lyric to quiet to fiery. All in the span of 20 minutes’ writing time. A sampling of three very different styles, excerpted:


I don’t have the confidence
of actually talking about my body.
I love my Mom and Dad,
but they made me feel
a way that’s hard to describe.
It’s kinda like they made me feel
ashamed and not proud.

It seems everyone here is not ashamed at all.
It’s just me, such lack of confidence.
It makes me feel alone …

I feel like I wish I was quite sassy.
Maybe someday I will be fiery.
I do not blame anyone,
not anyone at all …

Believe it or not,
I have found some confidence indeed
here, among all the girls around.
I feel like I have a family here,
between these concrete walls…


*  *  *


I see myself courageous like a lion,
singing through my heart like a wolf howling at the moon.
Running in my mind through a midnight forest, twigs
and brush cracking under my bare feet.
The judgments of others humming like bees noisily in the trees.
My blood is rushing like the rapids of a river through my body,
warming to the marrow adrenaline like a cheetah catching the gazelle,
breathing heavily until I reach the sand between my toes
here, I am raw.  I am free.

I sit beneath the stars like lightning across the beach
I listen to the waves slowly crashing into one another
there are no judgments here
my mind is silent
finally all is quiet.


*   *   *

We are all women who share
the sun in our smile, the struggles
in our stride, stretch marks
on our breast from bearing a child.
We show them we are strong
by talking real loud. We show them
with raised heads, we are proud.
Phenomenal women
stand out
in crowds.


. . . and you?

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