Ode to All the Strong Black Girls Who Are Tired of Being Strong.
Once a black doctor asked me why I, strong black girl, was in the mental hospital.
Sir. Don’t you know we get tired too?
That turmoil pumps through our veins
And somedays our hearts don’t want to keep beating,
Our demons be bigger than us.
Sir. Don’t you know we gotta cry too
We sometimes be less rock and more sand
But still beach for everyone to vacation on.
Be less foundation and more fault line
But still be house to shelter
Be fire and water, and earth and wind.
Protector and god and prayer
be all things holy and battle all things not.
Be front line to black boy murder.
Be least appreciated.
We be empathy for black boy pain and
absorb bruises from white man(American) villainy.
And sometimes we get tired of being the protest
But where would they be if we
left everyone to fend for themselves?
No. black girls gotta be hero-
Be mother and father.
Be counselor and spiritual guidance.
We be beat on you today, and pray for you tomorrow.
Be beat on by you today, and pray for you tomorrow.
Black girls takes shit from colonizers, gentrifiers, white folks,
white feminists, black men, and black woman.
Yes we be strong but,
We be steadfast and unsure,
Be weary, broken and tired.
We be savior and deliverer.
be that one friend that always comes through.
So doctor, as much as you don’t want to see me here.
As much as I want to be that strong black girl you see.
Sometimes I forget to breathe,
Or take care of me.
Sometimes I pour myself out until I am nothing left over.
I carry weight loads of baggage that I do not own.
Breaks me down from sugarcane to salt.
I guess I was more volcano than mountain.
you have to understand, I, strong black girl, can be both.
Gabby E. is a full-time poet, college student, and part time teacher. When Gabby isn’t purging her soul on paper or a stage, or cracking the math books, she is working at a non-profit daycare satisfying her desire to work with children. Gabby is loud, energetic, and, above all, dedicated. She always accomplishes whatever she puts her mind to.
This young poet speaks truth beyond her years, covering topics from race, sexual assault, and sometimes mental illness.
In just a few short years on the poetry scene, Gabby has achieved much recognition. She was the 2017 and 2018 grand slam champion for the Dallas Youth Poets. She was a three-time member, two-time captain, of the Dallas Youth Poets slam team that competed each year in Brave New Voices. After starting her own high school team in 2016, Gabby was awarded the Spirit of the Slam award for Louder Than A Bomb DFW. The following year, she coached the team to first-place victory. Gabby was the slam champion for the 2018 indie slam for Speak-Up Speak Out.
Gabby’s long-term goals include becoming an elementary school teacher and teaching older children how to use their voice in a way that can make them feel confident and impactful in everyday life.