“A lady should be seen and not heard” is the noise I hear growing up
Barricaded in a society where women’s views are secondary.
For the ideal virtuous woman assents to what is being expected of her
No queries or reservations – just total submission
And so she waits to speak, solely observing
Digesting and regurgitating demands
With or without comprehension
Checking and cross checking her pun play of words
While she seeks perfection
It is not that she is not allowed to have a voice. She is.
But as long as it remains in her head, it is innocuous.
She can play with it and dance with it.
She can imagine what it would be like when it came to fruition.
If it came to fruition – lest she should say something wrong.
For she has been promised vocality through her male counterpart
When that day comes – that day, that marks the highest achievement she can ever attain
A dogged faith in a will-o’-the-wisp
Better than self-fulfillment or a brandished degree.
Better than self-purpose – because finally, she will become someone else’s.
I came in search of the American dream.
For here in the U.S, women question the status quo.
So I was told and so I wanted to believe.
But you have fettered me with your perceptions of the color of my skin
Dreams here are solely extended to those privileged enough to sleep
With no worries of a prejudice that pre-disposes
Painting one’s destiny with the color of one’s skin
Limiting dreams and aspirations to 70 cents to the man’s dollar
How do you call it equitable, if equity is in itself a currency that has been dispersed
Prior to my existence
Given in huge measures to those who do not look like me, will never look like me?
How can we dream when there are no dimes and pennies left?
Who will dream for us?
We do not march for ourselves but for the nations we carry on our backs
Men, Women, Coloreds, Immigrants, LGBTQ – we carry them all
Hoping for the promise of lullabies, as we cradle our children to sleep
Singing “one day, you shall be free” – free from marginalization that judges you before you are born
Free to retain your voice, free to dream!