Black Woman Blues

The blues is the moment we realize
our bodies will only rest in the grave.
When our mothers told us
we would have to work ten times harder
they didn’t tell us the ceilings
were made of steel.
I wonder if my mother knew
when she immigrated to America
that my chance of successful birth
in this land fertilized with trauma
would be higher in the country she fled? 
When she stares at me teary eyed
asking why I don’t want a bite of the Dream
she worked so hard for me to access. 
I remind her that American institutions
suffocate us. It does not matter
whether we are like Eric Garner,
or Serena Williams. They do not hear us
when we say we can’t breathe.


Richmond, VA

I am a senior at the University of Richmond majoring in environmental studies. I plan to pursue a career in Public health where I will focus on environmental/health equity. I write poetry in my free time to express my thoughts and feelings.

Ashley JamesComment