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Where Are My Standing Ovations, Paid Vacation Days and Get-Well Bouquets? A Spoken Word

It is a quarter after my last break

A hot minute since; a second for a breath to take

A whisper of disapproval for my lack of drive

A shout of shame for my disability to thrive

My lack of vigor, my failure to please

Aroused indignation; caused their niceties to cease

At ease; deemed unproductive, ill-mannered, disrespectful, distracted

Walking a thin line of failure and favours become retracted, extracted

From thoughts and headlines, banished for wanting, needing

Space to care for my mind, to fix old wounds excessively bleeding

Where is my encore? My standing ovation

My “go on girl” for my arresting confrontation

Where are my well-earned ‘Okays’?

And my get-well bouquets

My paid ‘vacays’, weekend get-aways

Tap on the shoulder, “hey we all need lazy days!”

Where is my room? My room for me

For me alone with walls, walls to be

To be myself, myself and I

I refuse to sugarcoat, to tell a lie

A lie about success

Success that is not; but only a mess

Listen to my words, words with chords

Chords of exhaustion not to be thrown to hordes

Hordes of reporters and distributors of rumors

Who are driven by my anxiety; to them it humors

My no is my no, it is the very strength of my health

My yes is my choice, my investment for wealth

My motivation shrivels in awe at your deficiency

your lack of empathy, your cruelty for false efficiency

Overworked overtime does not qualify as supreme and justify being called queen

Burnt out and spent only makes me mean

Crowned because I am clad in stilettos and Prada

But a woman frustrated has nothing but nada

From my point of view, tired eyes and sleepless nights

Are goals to be pursued to walk in fame before flashing lights

They are dreams to be fulfilled, to be lived, to win the race

The trick to ride this lane is to never slow the pace

To be clogged by chores, submerged by appointments

Stirred by headaches and a cycle of disappointments

Pressured by demands and the “working woman trend”

Learning new skills, playing by the rules I cannot comprehend

To earn a place, a name? Says who? To pretend to love what I do?

To draw lines is an abomination, a disgrace and a shame too?

What a price to pay to say what I need

What a cost to endure to be able to breathe

What I long for is for you to see my life

As a treasure to behold; to love as a wife

As a baby to nourish not threatened with a knife

As a target for your counsel surely not your strife

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