Whether assertive or tentative, words are always in attendance. Their edges are combustible weapons, not to be fooled with. They are at times fragments that have unintentionally injured others. Occasionally, they have cut others down to small, digestible pieces to save or reclaim self. When honed in anger and marinated in silence, women’s words are loudest as they quietly cut through dead space to send a message to its target. Yet words have consistently risen like shields to defend the voiceless.

My words are at times personal and private, honed as declaration and prayers to cover my children. Often they are praise and thanksgiving:

each waiting
to feel the whisper of the Spirit
taste the conviction in my amen
cool against their cheek

remembering that sweet first cry
of just released souls
I continue to rewrite my mother-self
over and over
to absorb the tearing
of a self denied stretched
to birth the plea
for divine guidance

Excerpted and modified from: “The Writer, the Woman: Words as Ointment, Shield & Weapon”

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