Hustle

My career striving has been 15 years in the making

I’ve moved mountains, only to have more placed in front of me

I’ve been homeless, kicked out by a drug-addicted, manic-depressive mother at 17

I struggled through that, got two jobs and still my dreams were pressing me

Went to community college, survived DV

Made it into undergrad and graduated despite things

Got a DUI, bounced back

Grad school’s where I’m at

And now, yet again, despite intentions

Messed up systems keep pushing me back

They won’t hold me back

I’ve come too far

So I’ll do what I have to do

Sleep in a car

Take two steps back

But nothing will stop my drive to live a life from helping people

Like me and you

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Privilege

It’s not fair

Your privilege is not fair

I am reminded every time

I feel like you’re up there and I’m down here

All because of your white skin and blonde hair

You go to school as a norm

I go to school cause I struggle

It’s easy for you to perform

It’s hard because I hustle

You’ve never had to want for more

I want more because I’ve never had it

Working two jobs, school and it still not being enough

You are handed freedom, I have to grab it

Your micro-aggressions and assumptions

Remind me of what I don’t have

But the genetic makeup in my body

I wouldn’t trade it back

Black women

breast

Black women

Well rounded, aside from our bodies being well-rounded

As strong and stable as the earth

Yet adaptable to change we break form

Like our hair,

We are able to manipulate ourselves

Into whatever we need to be for the day

The silent warrior

Doing all the work in the background

Not worrying about what she looks like in the forefront

I need you

I need you to be able to look however the fuck you want

Declare that you are here, as you are, whether anyone likes it or not

Your presence is too present to be silenced

Look every side-eying person

In their eyes

And let them know you see them

You see them intolerant of anything outside of their monotone, clone features

Monochrome skin, seeing anything outside of them as weaker

No need to be a teacher

To anyone and everyone that doesn’t have the capacity to hear

Our strength brings them fear

Marginalizing us in society because they can’t stand to bring us near.