Strong nosed woman

You’ve forgotten what it feels like to not be strong

Strength is all you’ve known.

Strong like the shackles of familial bond

Strong like the weight of your mother’s tongue

And your father’s fist

Wrapped tight around the idea of you.

You; unafraid to speak yet too scared to say words with meaning

That mean something like when the sun rises every morning

Rises; a new dawn with the promise of a new you

Unfolding like the petals of a flower

The petals crushed with the weight of expectations

Brown blood staining and tainting the petals

Once so pure.

You look in the mirror and you see a strong nosed woman

Brown skin

Bone and tissue carving familiar lines

Tracing back to your ancestors

Suffering and endurance; strength is all they knew.

You look in the mirror and you see a woman scarred

Once bloody and scratched, the skin is now flesh-pink and jagged

If you stretch it out, it looks almost smooth as glass

Brand new yet easy to shatter

Smash into shards reflecting the pain, the hurt, the shock

The sound of clean fingers against glass like the screech of a woman

Face stinging from the pain of a slap

Is this what it means to be strong?

Strong nosed woman,

Strength lies in endurance, you were always told

Strength lies in patience, you were always told

Strength lies in acceptance; you were always told.

So when do you realise the weight of your strength

Is weighing you down

Like a blanket of steel

Crushing crushing crushing your chest like angry waves at high tide

Slamming against the rocks of anger, hurt, betrayal

Rocks they threw at you

Your strength the crest; unwavering. Your pride ripples through.

You forgot what your reflection in the mirror feels like when it is soft, gentle, loved and loving

A softness that flows through you like honey

Warm and caring and a million shades of golden brown all at once

Body aching from the sweetness

Yielding like syrup.

Strong nosed woman

don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.