Thursday, September 10, 2009


...this is for Laura (who is stronger than i can even imagine, and whose willingness to love astounds me), for my Aunt Denise (who is going to beat the cancer a second time, dammit.), for Momolla (who can love so strongly and laugh no matter what), for Kate (who is a rock for everyone around her), for El (who has the courage and strength to be herself, always and totally), for Bells (who is brave enough to share her heartbreak and loving enough to comfort others from the midst of it), for Amy-girl (who is simply amazing, and won't be told no), for me (i am never broken), for all of the fabulous strong wome I am surrounded by.

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

--Maya Angelou

Because, my darlings, my friends, we rise.


Rose Red said...

Yes you do lovey, you rise!

Nancy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Galad said...

The previously deleted comment was mine - I signed in with the wrong account :-(

Yes, you do rise! This was just what I needed to read today - thanks for posting!

Donna Lee said...

You know, that verse about the oceans and tides has been on my mirror for the longest time. It always reminds me of you.....

Roxie said...

What a glorious up-rising! Thank you, dear Em!

Kate said...

We rise and grow like the wood women we are. Strong, and deep, and when we lean, we catch each other.
You just keep rising, EmmyJane.