I grew up in a matriarchal house, where women worked hard so as to pay the rent and all the rest, all the while rearing their children all alone. So, for this International Women’s Day, I would like to thank my mother, my deceased grandmother, and as well as all my aunts, for they have shown me what real bravery is.

Brave Womanhood (free verse poem)

My grandmother used to tell me
The story of her elder sister         
Whose roots now sprout under another sun
Amongst these blood that taste
Of ancient magic and creatures long lost,

She took a boat
And went on faraway seas
Never to look back again

She, whose dark skin
Never broke her determination
She, whose thick hair
Never made her feel less beautiful
And she, whose other attributes
Never stopped her mind  
From wandering daringly,

She was fierce as a lioness
Studying till the late night hours
Under lights of kerosene lamps
Which stuffed her nostrils of black soot,

And what a story for me to hang on to
In times when I’m too weak
In times where I am so fragile
That my bones don’t fit my own skin
In times where I despise my femininity
And envy men for their wings
In times where my feminine outfits
Are prisons too tight for me to breathe,

And within my dreams 
It’s clear to see that
I am woman under an alien sky
With no spaceship to return to Venus.