Not Another Rose

He told me I was a magnetic rose

That grew from concrete

As if his overused Tupac reference 

Would impress me, 

He rubbed his fingertips against my arms,

Bragging about my soft skin

Oh, I’m sorry, he called my limbs petals

Said my words were the thorns

Because I quickly dismissed him

But HE still saw my beauty

So he doesn’t mind me playing

Hard to get

As if my existence, my value

Depends on his metaphorical approval

And him capturing me, joining his bouquet

Yet, never seeing what was behind the rose,

A woman. A Black woman. 

Mother Nature, A creator

Does he not see the billions of children

Released from my womb

Does he not see his mother’s mother’s mother’s

Turmoil in the fields

Our melanin darkened by an unforgiving sun

That a world connected to ugliness

And Mama Maya reminded us to Rise

Still, he doesn’t see the life risks

The sacrifices, the reason

For everyone’s existence

I am more than a rose

I am your provider, your strength

Your pride, your honor

Your lifeline, your reason

I am who you should thank

We raised you when men like you left

We loved you when you didn’t love yourself

We carried you before you came to existence

And we’ll watch over you when our souls are lifted

So excuse me if I missed your attempt at a compliment

But I’m not a rose that grew from concrete

I’m the woman that planted the field.

By Taryn Nicole Biggs

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