What do you see when you look at me?

This broken, fragile vessel

Of a used up fragrance

That radiated

Confidence from my pores

Yet somehow

The scent no longer

Lingers on my wilted frame

You see, I am a woman.

I am a woman whose

Stomach has a pit as

Deep as the earth’s core,

The one you tried to throw me into

With this R, A, P, E

You did over me,

A vain attempt to steal my dignity

Shattered pieces on the ground

You threw me on

You see, I am a woman.

I am a woman that

Knows and understands the

Pain of being entered into

Without permission

No willing confession

Of so easily stripping my pride

Like tossing trash by your side,

When I’m truly a treasure

You see, I am a woman.

I am a woman who

Will never willingly give in

To a defeat I did not choose

Or stand by to be abused,

By your belief that you have the right

To say, do, or try anything,

That might fulfill your lustful desires

To try me out like new tires

On a test drive,

You see, I am a woman.

I am a woman born to fight,

For her right to say no,

And when that is not respected,

I will not be destroyed

Nor will my soul turn void.

Too many people need to see

That respect is not just a commodity

But a right in all reality,

You don’t own me.

In fact you would not exist without me,

You see, I am a woman.

I am a woman all

To familiar with violations,

Or societal stereo-types and stipulations

On my behavior.

My dress, my walk, my talk,

Or anything else

That might welcome

This R , A , P, E you did over me,

In fact there’s one 1 in 3 of me.

So turn to your side, see your mother,

Look behind you, face your daughter,

Then what’s left is a statistic that

Could be your sister who screams,

Don’t you see?  I am a woman.

I am a woman with

Many names, many ages, many races,

Both rich, poor, and in between,

My face well-known, and hardly noticed.

Like Chaka Khan “I’m Every Woman”

It’s all in me.

And I will stand in solidarity

Against the R, A, P, E

You did over me,

And while you stole some sacred pieces we

Refuse to shield our tears,

You need to see, that

Your hungry power meant to destroy me

This vain attempt to steal my dignity

Was unsuccessful

Because you see

While I am broken,

I am healing.

Once a victim,

Now a survivor.

I am a woman

No longer silent,

I am.