Powerful Women


Powerful Women


Part I


People are afraid of powerful women…I think.

My mama once told me “beware of sparks.”

Because sparks are usually the beginning of something bigger

Of a fire

Of love

Of change.

And sparks can easily slip by

Like lost kisses blown to the wind,

Only to latch onto

A passing branch and set the whole damn world

On fire.

My mama once told me to tread lightly on water

Because calm tides have

Rippling currents that can

Wash away cities.

Water is a hurricane

And hurricanes are unstoppable —

With passion roaring in her eyes,

My mama taught me not to fear the powerful



Once, I almost fell in love

And even now, I can still feel his electricity coursing

Through my veins, as if his skin were adrenaline and he

Was shot straight into my heart.

He was my beginning of something bigger.

If I close my eyes, I can still see his fingers caressing

The piano keys; they did the same little dance

His eyes did when he looked at me.

When we went out to dinner, he always ordered

Because he knew exactly what I wanted.

When I brought him home to meet my family,

He spoke all the words I wanted to say,

So I didn’t have to.

My mama watched with disapproving fierce eyes

And with a loud, demanding voice,

She told me to speak.

We nodded.

One night, we went out to eat

And I told him no.

He laughed and shook his head as if a woman

Had no diligence nor palette to know what she wanted.

When I brought him home, he finished my

Sentences as if there were gaps.

But my sentences were perfect.

My mama told me beware of sparks

But I made I made her proud when I told him to leave.

My mama told me not to fear the powerful

So I will not deny my ability to shine,

And I set his world on fire.

When I left, my name was embedded on his chest

My face imprinted in the back of his eyelids.

He did not breathe or sleep

Without thinking of me.

I am the spark and

I will not fear myself.


Part II

To all the women who are afraid to be powerful.

People are afraid of powerful women.

People are afraid of the spark in her eyes

That is bright enough to start a wildfire,

But she simmers it down just enough to start a stove to feed her family.


On Christmas morning, I watched my mama’s

Spark dwindle her eyes

As if a piece of her drowned with my grandfather --

She was washed away by a hurricane.

But she found her way back to me

With arms full of chocolate and ice cream

Because powerful women are not afraid to cry.

Fire spreads by latching onto its surroundings

So I held my mom’s hand over

Chocolate and ice cream and hoped to give her

A piece of my spark that

She lent me to start my fire.


To all the women who are afraid to be powerful

We do not need a man to feel our heartbeat

Pounding in our ears

We can tell what we want to put in our stomachs

Because that’s what it is — ours.

Our sentences may be fragmented

But they do not need fixing

We are imperfect.

I am imperfect.



I can look into a mirror to see

All my imperfections and still think I am beautiful.

The next man lucky enough to see my soul will

Recite my birth marks and trace my unbridged nose

He will tell me I am beautiful and I will laugh

And shake my head because I know I am.

It is hard to feel insecure when all I feel is love.

I can walk into college knowing I might stumble and fall

But I am not ashamed of knowing I am intelligent

Enough to keep trying.

It is hard to feel small when all I feel is confident.

You do not need intelligence or beauty to be powerful

You need a voice that you want to share

You need a spark that demands to be caught

Onto curtains and latched onto branches

And it’s okay if you don’t have one yet

Because I’m here to give you a little of mine.


Grant-Grey Porter Hawk Guda

Powerful expression. Always let poetry fill your life. Keep expressing your heart.   

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