Arts Seeing Growth

Explainations by Tiffany Willis

You tell me
“Strip away your fabric,
Take off everything that keeps you safe,
Everything that makes you cool.
Expose to me the heart of you”

So….for you
I slowly peel back the thick layers
Of skin I’ve developed to protect myself
I revealed to you
A soul that’s cut, bloody, scarred over
And bruised
And I begin my explainations:

“That scar right there…
That’s from watching my father
Raise an angry fist to my mother
In a drunken rage….
It started to heal after my mother
Decided ‘enough’ and gathered weapons
Of her own
But the emotional bruises
Busted open after her attempts to free
Herself failed, and he actually lived
This scar right here…..
This scar developed after being raped
At seventeen-
But the bigger bruise next to it
Appeared when my father didn’t believe me
These various scars….
These scars are from marrying a man
More like my father that I
Cared to admit-”

But before I could continue
My explainations
You silenced me with a kiss
“Thank you” you say, “for trusting me
Enough to show me your insecurities”
And layer upon layer you assist me
Putting back on the thick layers of skin
That allows me to appear to be
The strong black woman to the rest of the world
“Your secret is safe with me” You whisper….
My secret-
That on the inside, I’m still a scared little gir

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