female creativity
has difficulty making itself seem
add to that being
a creative black female....

it's even more difficult

this erasure is rendered
even more problematic when
artifacts of our vanishing
cultures are commoditized to
enhance the aesthetic of those performing the erasure

sometimes people try to destroy you,
precisely because they recognize
your power---
not because they don't see it
because they do see it but
they don't want your power
to exist

we fall into periods of critical breakdown
because we feel
there is no world
there is no world
that will embrace us

grappling with betrayal leads
to an understanding
of compassion,
of forgiveness
of acceptance
that creates a
certain kind of
powerful love

redemptive love... is hinted
then... goes away
and we don't know
where it goes

why did it go away?

I want there to be
a place in the world
where people engage
in one another's differences
in one another's possibilities

using everything
everything we know
already know
to know more

hope because
because... hope

¹ hooks, bell. (1994 b). Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations. New York: Routledge.

About the Poet

Dr. Maria Winfield earned her PhD in Language and Literacy Education from the University of Georgia. She earned her Master of Liberal Arts from the prestigious Bread Loaf School of English where she studied Renaissance Literature in Oxford, England. Dr. Winfield is currently working on a manuscript for Third World Press.