That is not a question
Not a measure of inquiry
More a stance of defiance, daring you to try to apply words to my life
How can you, someone who took the time to barely recognize my eye color
Presume to tell me what they have seen?
I have cried endless tears, filling mason jars with hopes and prayers for Better days
I have laughed at my own bitterness, rejoiced when it gave me the reprieve of joy
You cannot know what I fear, no lions, no tigers, no bears, just the thought of allowing myself to be
I fight my own stride
Seek grace in every measured step
And I am restrained against no one but myself
And yet you stand here
Witness the efforts of years
The tears of decades
The trembling of months
And the laugh of eons
You listen to a voice, like my mother's but tinged with a rasp from belting Salt n' Pepa
And singing EnVogue slightly off-key
When you see me, you see a dream
A woman who rode in on the back of a nightmare
So when you speak to me
I ask again....
What am I?