on the holy: a tribute for women's history month

a poetic reminiscing of the sacred power of black women.



in the still.

of saturday mornings.

waking up to the sound of the trumpets.

from the mass of the mississippi.

to angelic tunes of Whitney.

And Anita.

And Nina.


Under the unctioning of Mahalia.

Leading us to precious Lord.

Taking Her hand.

We are fearless.

More than conquerors.

Warriors, Black and beautiful.

Daughters of Jerusalem.


She tells the truth and shames the devil.

Her strength is in the thickness of her thighs.

like Maya, Her words are as leaven.

praying over us, still we rise.

New life from Grandma’s seasoning.

Multiplying catfish and cornbread loaves.

We come to love our bodies.

And lavish our souls.


“She tells the truth and shames the devil. Her strength is in the thickness of her thighs.
like Maya, Her words are as leaven. praying over us, still we rise."

we know Her as sophia.

the color purple with the sassy lip.

Her audacity cures - her courage carries.

Past the threshold of demons.

In white hoods.

Who colored God’s eyes blue.

And permed and painted Her hair yellow.

Knowing damn well.

Both were Black.


so we hear Her.

in the rhythm of double dutch ropes.

we see Her.

Moving across the sea of generations.

when She plaits the hair of Her daughters.

and, especially, we feel Her.

we feel Her presence.

as power that fills the room.

prayer languages we never learned.

and a proximity to God only the holy could survive.

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