A Woman Speaks by Audre Lorde

It is International Women’s Day on Monday (8th March) and so in celebration of that I wanted a poem about strong women. This one pretty much fits that criteria and it was one that I wanted to include in my lockdown II series but didn’t get a chance to so here we go….

A Woman Speaks

Moon marked and touched by the sun
my magic is unwritten
but when the sea turns back
it will leave my shape behind.
I seek no favor
untouched by blood
unrelenting as the curse of love
permanent as my errors
or my pride
I do not mix
love with pity
nor hate with scorn
and if you would know me
look into the entrails of Uranus
where the restless oceans pound.

I do not dwell
within my birth nor my divinities
who am ageless and half-grown
and still seeking
my sisters
witches in Dahomey
wear me inside their coiled cloths
as our mother did
mourning.

I have been women
for a long time
beware my smile
I am treacherous with old magic
and the noon’s new fury
with all your wide futures
promised
I am
woman
and not white.

Audre Lorde, from The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde (1997).

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