A Woman’s Tears
by Tami Olsen
I stand before the world
and I open my heart to the pain of millions like me
and there is no end to it.
Pain wraps around my chest like a rope.
It squeezes until tears flow from my eyes
and my hands tremble.
Pain we have held back for centuries,
hidden behind downcast eyes and false meekness,
diluted with propriety.
Pain that has been hardening in each heart
Today I release it.
It is not sorrow that produces these tears,
it is rage.
See them for what they are.
They are fire in our eyes.
They are acid in our touch.
They are gravel in our throats.
Do not mistake these tears for sadness.
They are resolve.
Do not assume these tears make us weak.
They are strength.
Do not see these tears and think we have lost.
They are the final sacrifice.
When our rage burns hot enough for tears,
we will tear down this pain,
we will rise up and hide no longer,
we will stand.
And we will take back the world.