Tag Archives: Black Women

Shape Shifter

by Constance Jaquay Strickland

I’m on an airplane.
Time is shifting.
I’ve shifted.
I close my eyes and I see the face of a woman I cannot name.
Here I am.
In an unfamiliar room.
I open my eyes and I remember my granny
Addie Mae Brown.

Now I’m sitting.
Heavy breathing.
Whose breathing?
I’m breathing…..
My breath — is all I hear in this dark theatre.
Fear has found me.
Quietly snuck upon my mind
reminding me that Black Women are often forgotten.
My mind
Her mind
Their minds
combusting in time // with time.
As I walk through crowded streets history begins to speak.
My bones remember names I cannot say aloud

My voice is unable to conjure stories left untold.
So I shadowbox old thoughts as I try to speak the names of women unknown—
yet who look like me. And still go unseen.

What happens to a Black Woman when she goes without care?
Her mind
Their mind
My mind
piecing together new memories // carrying old memories
as I seek a sustainable life.