She Is Woman

She is woman — a woman of
courage, purpose, perseverance.
She does not buckle before
those who tell her to keep

She may never appear in headlines
or walk a red carpet;
she’s not signed a tantalizing
contract, crooned on local radio,

or been verified on Twitter.

Yet her voice holds authority for
she has embraced life — not hidden from,
denied, or vilified it, but filled her

bosom with its lacerations and losses
without shame. 

Grit and grime have etched deep
canyons into visible surfaces,
gouged ravines into the caverns of
her soul creating a permeable silhouette
of hope

which invites all to
lean in, listen closely,
choose the wisdom she
carries within her humble


She may live with a stigma
foisted upon her by others which
she relentlessly rejects, for
no aggressor will wield such

over her. She will rise; she will square
her shoulders, draw from her sisters,

call for her tribe and together they
wrestle and struggle, weep and cry out
until the heavens weep, too.

Drenched with the tears of angels
she will turn her face into the storm,
welcoming the ugly force which
sneers at her davidic frailty against its

bloated power,

— power that is insignificant
in the presence of strength.
When strength, borne of adversity,
fashioned in the crucible of the


meets power in the arena,
all hold their breath. Power preens,
struts, taunts, humiliates while
strength stands its holy ground
without fear.


© Julia Penner-Zook, 2019
Photo Credit: Julia Penner-Zook
Twitter: @J_Pennz

Instagram: @j_penner_zook


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