Happy International Woman’s Day!

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Maya Angelou – Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

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The Letter

The Letter

I. Martedi

Perhaps if I had chosen differently that Tuesday,
you would have chosen differently that Tuesday.

I keep dreaming about you touching my legs
on the train that night in December.

But I always wake and remember that you sit behind bars.
Now what chance do we stand.

Although I’m sure If I had let myself,
I would have learnt to bend over them backwards.

II. Mercoledi

It’s my simple thing,
remembering you in days.
The ones you were there, and the ones you were not.

Thursdays you would take off for me
and Fridays after work
we would find a spot to go swimming at the beach,
drive home after midnight still wet in your car.

So you leaving mid-week, like you did
screwed with me like jet lag.
I wish you had waited until Sunday to get caught.

III. Giovedì

That’s when I picked up my pen to write.
Not about you at first, to you.

Everyone has a purpose. I felt like mine was to make you feel.
Everything everyone is too scared to.

And so I wrote from the heart.
I was scared too, least of all angry, just sad that it was to you.

IV. Venerdì

Once I started I couldn’t stop.
I wrote from dark until light.

Stamp stuck and purpose filled. Self expression-ed out.
I felt everything I knew it would make you feel.

I sprinted to catch the 9am post. That letter had run me out.

But I was lighter on my feet, and mind.
Friday changed my life.

The Voice

Your prejudice does not erase
That I am human
With the content of my character
I am a woman
With the Love in my heart
I am a mother
With patience and kindness
I am a friend
Bearing the burden of your hate
purifies my soul
Your humiliation
is equal to my humility
and so
sets me free

© Elena Andrean