Careening towards the end of Women’s History Month, and just days after World Poetry Day, the poem Raised By Women by Kelly Norman Ellis resonates deeply, conjuring memories of ancestors I’ve never met, but whose protection and wisdom transcends earthy limitations.
Sliding into my sixties, I’m still being raised by phenomenal women. Taking over for the departed aunts, grandmothers, and my own mother, the ethereal presence and power of women continue to shape my personal evolution.
Raised By Women
I was raised by
Cornbread so good you want to lay down and die baking
“Go on baby, get yo’self a plate” Kind of Women.
Some thick haired
Angela Davis afro styling “Girl, lay back
and let me scratch yo head” Sorta Women.
Some big legged
High yellow, mocha brown Hip shaking
Hip huggers hugging Daring debutantes
“I know I look good”
Type of Women.
Some tea sipping
White glove wearing
Got married too soon Divorced
in just the nick of time “Better say yes ma’am to me” Type of sisters.
Some finger-popping Boogaloo dancing
Say it loud
I’m black and I’m proud James Brown listening
“Go on girl shake that thing” Kind of Sisters.
Some face slapping
Hands on hips
“Don’t mess with me,
Pack your bags and
get the hell out of my house” Sorta women
Some PhD toten
“I’ll see you in court” World traveling
Stand back, I’m creating Type of queens
I was raised by women.