Raised by Women

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

Chitterling eating

Vegetarian cooking

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

Miniskirt wearing

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

Poetry writing

Portrait painting

“I’ll see you in court” World traveling

Stand back, I’m creating Type of queens

I was raised by women.

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