You say that you expect more from me,
That black women like me are expected to work
10 times harder.
Normal status quo standards do not suffice
When it’s my efforts as the subject line –
The progress bar slows to a crawl.
You expect me to pedal faster
To gain the same distance as my peers on the same track,
Because it’s the same track but a different race –
Same ground covered but different lanes;
Lanes with potholes,
Continuous uphill terrain,
Unrelenting, steadfast obstacles,
And character assassinations.
My eyes are now open.
My skin is now raw to the touch.
My joints and limbs ache
With age beyond my years,
Yet I won’t stop running. I refuse to stop running.
My open eyes can look around
But I also keep looking forward,
To prove that your head would be spinning
If you were to run in my lane.
So I keep looking forward,
Because that is what I expect from myself.