I Knew My Purpose-Rachel Finch

Whisper and the Roar

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I knew my purpose
when little legs were
thrust apart,
foreign hands moulding my body
into a better fit for themselves,
shaping my form and my future.
I knew my purpose when they
took their turns and the skin on
my face didn’t burn beneath the salt,
but soaked it into every pore with a
remembering.
I knew my purpose when the
bruises painted my inner thighs
and even my silent lips couldn’t
hide the gospel.
I knew my purpose when the tears fell and
only the birds were listening.
Shades of hurt patterned my flesh and I was
already living in the knowing.
I would grow wings and beat them to the
sound of every whimper of a sister
and I would turn the betrayal into a war cry
for peace and justice

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I Knew My Fate-1Wise Woman

Whisper and the Roar

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I knew my fate when

Enraged voices penetrate

Vulnerable

Eyes closed tight

Dreaming of locks

Picked and set free

I knew my fate when

Words embedded

Forever me

Followed by scenes

Violent

Seen and unseen

I knew my fate when

Heart carried weight

Haunted

Day and night

Searching for savior

Bury the burden

I knew my fate when

Reflection revealed

Strength intrinsic

Click

An open door

Running no more


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I Knew My Stature – Aurora Phoenix

Whisper and the Roar

I knew my stature when I was a shrinking violet

wilting wallflower

hangdog hanging in the corner of the gym

stewing in the stench of pubescent sweat

and hurricanic hormonal surges

a bit too fleet of mind

and broad of hip

to be asked to dance.

I knew my stature when I was a shriveling teen

angularly angling

for acceptance in the seat of those size 4 jeans

gaunt of cheek and lean on ease

I nibbled on the knowledge

skinny girls get dated

while I wasted wishing away.

I knew my stature when I was a curvaceous coed

unholstering my sexuality

like the black market weapon it was

filed down and ripe for the bidding

overpowered and unequipped for battled

shooting myself in the foot

greenhorn that I was.

I knew my stature when I was a birthing Bessie

nursing wet and dry

bequeather of sustenance and succor

repository…

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I knew my lesson-Megha Sood

Whisper and the Roar

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I knew my lesson

when your touch left the scar

again and again on

my suppurating skin

and you remain unscathed

and free

I knew my lesson

when crying under the

covers and

keeping those lips pursed

made no difference to your

ignorant smirk and

your bouts of glee

I knew my lesson

when I tried to please you

and kept crushing my own

desires

losing the tourniquet to

set myself-free

I knew my lesson

when I had to choose between

the dream

and the rancid choices

you gallantly offered me

I knew my lesson

when  in the relationship

I ended my self

trying to ignite the love in “we”

Inspired by Kindra M. Austin’s ‘I Knew My Worth‘, Aurora Phoenix’s ‘I Knew My Place’ and Kristiana Reed’s ‘I Knew My Mistakes.’ , Christine Ray’s ‘I Knew My Name’, and Eric Syrdal’s ‘I knew my heart’

Photo by Max-Jakob Beer

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I Knew My Heart…Eric Syrdal

Whisper and the Roar

 

I knew my heart
when boys were boys
and making her cry meant you liked her

I knew my heart
when concrete met flesh
misjudged that bump and bicycles learned to fly
are tears really necessary? … walk it off

I knew my heart
when “one of the guys” was
pushing rumors down grapevines
thorns and all
and awkward silences when entering crowded rooms
“protect the brotherhood code”

I knew my heart
when men don’t say
I love you
to other men

I knew my heart
when shirts vs skins
ribs and lanky arms and bird legs
and non-stop dogs barking with no respite; no solace

I knew my heart
when lights were out
and shapes are monstrous
calls go unanswered, nothing in the dark that isn’t in the light
“grow up”

I knew my heart
Could decode the lies
my compass never pointed south
when I became my…

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I Knew My Name- Christine Ray

Whisper and the Roar

I knew my name
when grown men
called me ‘honey’
fondled my braids
and pulled my
10-year old body
stiff with resistance
onto their hard laps

I knew my name
when the male high school teacher
called me “sweetie”
and told me not to worry about
the 70 on my exam
because girls don’t need
an A in chemistry
to be a good wife and mother

I knew my name
when the teenage boys
called me ‘ice queen’
‘cock tease’
when I didn’t want their
sloppy tongues down my throat
their rough hands
on my budding breasts

I knew my name
when men followed me
down the street
called me ‘bitch’
‘fucking dyke’
when I wouldn’t smile
or say thank you
to their declarations
of lewd things
they would do to me
once we were alone

I knew my name
when my children
called me ‘mommy’
389 times a day

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I Knew My Place – Aurora Phoenix

Whisper and the Roar

I knew my place when I was cooking

barefoot

scrambling to please

the indomitable hostess

fierce in a frazzled up-do

sizzling while he sat at ease.

I knew my place when I was chewing

my cheeks

cognizant of my inconsequence

biting back that biting retort

while they chewed conceited cud

confident of their pompous placement.

I knew my place when I was toiling

drudgery

forbidden from the boardroom

as I covered incompetence

silver coffee serviette

service with a smile.

I knew my place when I was massaging

his ego

and his member, crafting a pleasure cruise

dutiful and doting

at the expense of my own satisfaction.

I know my place when I am standing

strong

solid on my own two feet

above the clamoring fray

going my own way.

This piece was inspired by I Knew My Worth by the inimitable Kindra M. Austin.

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