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Drawing by Alberta Overstreet

Testimony:  A Collage Poem


A woman cracks open revealing the lost baby poem. This emotion. This anguish. This reality is the heart of a woman’s existence. She is gathered together in the name of Janie, Ceily, Precious, and Cora…


Unashamed, I knelt down

in the Amen corner:


Head tilted

begging God for a mercy.


The cloud of confusion



and by the light of my father’s smile; I saw

the unbearable lightness of being human.


My struggles

are not just for colored girls,

who have considered suicide

when the rainbow is not enough;

or even for a couple of white chicks sitting around talking.


My struggles

are for all the little women

and their vagina monologues.

You see, we are the daughters of the Dust,

who powder ourselves dry from the

salty residue of degradation.


We form the Joy Luck Club

with a tear and a smile of our complex lives.


We, are, woman.


Every woman.


And let us holla and bare teeth

to protect ourselves

and our embryotic selves.


Let us continue,

singing and swinging

and get merry like Christmas,

when we burst out of our chrysalis.


The chrysalis

was a place where society

thought would constrict us

from freedom

from strength

from love.


But, it instead harbored



and empathy.


We open our peacocked

velvet wings and nestle

on the breast of destiny.


Where ever we go.


Where ever we’ve been.


There is a certain peace;

that make us shake loose our skin

and pay homage to our hips

because we know we are

the phenomenal women

of this bitter earth.


(Featured in Bards Annual 2013 &  featured in Sketches)



copyrighted  2012 by Sandra Proto 

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