Last night I watched myself cry,
Not some self-pitying cry, though there is plenty of space for that.
For the silly little things we want to cry for…weight loss, weight gain, mean people; racist people; sexist people; insensitive people, ignorant people.
It was not a self-pitying cry, though there is plenty space for that.
It was another cry.
A cry for the suffering of the universe.
My cry startled even me.
It started with a single solitary line lining my face.
Slowly streaming down to my cheek and chin.
A striking combination of silly and serious, that I am,
Even in the midst of my cry,
Me, myself, and I unknowingly started a conversation.
Me, curiously asking I: Is you crying?
I indignant: Why you asking? What you think?
Myself, with compassion: Girl, It’s all right. It is time.
It is time because I held a 19 month old angel with her wings in my arms named Grace and I had tears for her.
It is time because my cousin was handcuffed and harassed by the police with her son and 12 year old grandson, just trying to have a little respite, in Portsmouth, Virginia. We always think that police brutality happens to other people, other places.
It is time because my colleagues are suffering loss of lives, of aunts, of 2 month old babies, of fathers.
It is time because why why why can’t we do right by Breonna?
It is time because some allies are good and some are not.
It is time because the burdens are heavy,
The injustice mighty,
The needs insistent and persistent,
The expectations lofty.
It was time for A Good Cry, what Nikki’s book of poems is called.
Nikki writes: “But crying cleanses
It will not be
So I must learn
Nikki says, “At times like these
Because it will not be all right.
Not all right, all the time, or any time soon.
And so we must properly cry.
And so, the solitary line became a stream – streaming sentences without words down my face
And then, it came.
I hadn’t heard it in so long,
The cry from the depth of my soul. A sound so startling
A sound soulful with sorrow.
Black women’s suffering has its own cry.
It is rarely a self-pitying cry, though there is always space for that.
It is a cry that reaches back and brings forth centuries of cries
From the Middle Passage,
From the cotton fields,
From the factories
From the beatings
From the dehumanization of womanhood
From the genetic transmission of trauma
It is a cry that combines the past and the present
It is, at its core, a revolutionary cry,
A gut wrenching cry for righteousness and justice to prevail
For burdens to be lifted
For children to talk to each other in the cafeteria of schools and not have to stare straight ahead and silently eat.
For zoom classrooms for students to be a distant memory
For hugs from friends
For seeing smiles no longer covered by masks
For Black Lives to Matter
For no child to really be left behind
For deserts to not be of food
though, we who are women warriors will not wilt,
We can and must,