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For All the Women Who Made Me

A poem for the ancestors

By Rhea CarmonPublished 2 months ago 2 min read

For All the Women Who Made Me

I come from a long line of ebony goddesses

Women who knew how to burn

Whether with tongue or bunson

They cooked up recipes of family around the table

Laughing and singing songs of praise and triumph

I come from a heritage of thought and expression

Thinkers that created a way for children

To feel like royalty on a beggars budget

A history of femininity

Not afraid to work and submit

Making our husbands lives full of love

Bellies full of good food

That keeps them strong enough to face the world

Even when it doesn’t welcome them

I come from the north

And the south

I carry hallelujahs and a bitch slap

Southern charm and hood smarts

I am the daughter of a singer, a veteran, a boxer and a deacon

So I’m complex


As deep as mirrors facing one another

I come from grace and mercy

So I give it and receive

I come from love planted in the soil of my heart

So I am capable of growing a garden

But don’t be deceived

I also come from climbing trees and playing football in the streets

So I am capable of taking a hit and giving one

I come from the darkness of self-doubt

Into the light of self-acceptance

No make-up, just Oil of Olay

Beauty as natural as the Smoky Mountains

I come from a history of Titans

And daily emerge stronger and greater

Proud of my background

Proud of my blackness

Proud of my heritage and my difference

Everything I have learned to be

Is the essence of this melanin and power

Flowing through my veins

I am history

Black daughter

Black mother

Black wife

Black poet

Excellence from a long line of ebony goddesses

And I wear my crown with pride

performance poetry

About the Creator

Rhea Carmon

Rhea Carmon, also known as RheaSunshine, is a motivational speaker, spoken word poet, organizer, and teaching artist. Rhea is the Poet Laureate for the City of Knoxville, TN, and Executive Director for the 5th Woman Poetry Collective.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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