You Say I'm a Strong Woman

You Say I'm a Strong Woman

A Poem by Tionge Rosalie Johnson

I was inspired to write this piece for International Woman's Day. the "strong woman" trope has always been a tricky one for me, so delved into this concept through this poem.

You say I’m a strong woman... 

But do you even know what’s beneath all of my tough exterior.

If you peeled back all of my rough skin.

I may have it all together in a tight neat box with a bow on top,

but when I’m alone my wrapping is worn and disheveled. 

You may assume because I’m a colored woman, 

I’m also standing up for myself and others, 

like an African American Statue of Liberty. 

Like I’m Ellis Island and my docks are always available for port.

You say I’m a strong woman because I work hard,

I’m ambitious, and have big dreams and passions. 

But are you there when I have nothing written on my to do list.

Are you there when I wake up in the early hours in the morning,

not to get ready for the day, but to spend that extra hour staring at the blank ceiling before my tired eyes. 

Are you there when I wake up earlier just so I can spend useless hours tapping away at my phone screen.

Are you there when I decide to travel into my world of fairies, dragons, and unicorns…when I could be calling a U.S Senator

Are you there when I listen to the goblins scratching and clawing at my brain, belting at the top of their lungs that I’ll never be good enough, strong enough, brave enough, 

to change the world. 

Are you there when they belt so loud my eardrums burst. 

When I close my eyes and curl up underneath the bedsheets,

and escape. 

© 2018 Tionge Rosalie Johnson

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Added on March 9, 2017
Last Updated on January 10, 2018
Tags: poetry, spoken word


Tionge Rosalie Johnson
Tionge Rosalie Johnson

Syracuse , NY

I'm a graduate student at the S.I Newhouse School of Public Communications studying Arts Journalism where I am specializing in theatre. I have a great passion for writing and editing written work and .. more..