You may know my parents but you don’t know me.
You may know I’m educated but you don’t know my sacrifice.
You may know my face but you don’t know my soul.
You may know my children but you don’t know our struggles.
You may know my story but you don’t know my pain.
You may know my husband but you don’t know our love.
You may know my address but you don’t know our secrets.
You may know my status but you don’t know my aches.
You may know my dreams but you don’t know my failures.
You may know my past but you don’t know my future.
You may know my friends but you don’t know our trust.
You may know my name but you will never know me.
I see a dream of a future I crave but as I walk down the aisle, I say, “Not now.” I feel a growth inside me that begs to be nurtured but as I feel my child move inside me, I say, “Not now.” I want success in a form that utilizes my talents but I must provide for others so, I say, “Not now.” I need creativity to burst forth from my soul but as I sign the papers fragmenting my life, I say, “Not now.” I hear an orator proclaiming my future but as I slip out early, I say, “Not now.” I taste a sampling of the future I desire but as my body fails me, I say, “Not now.” I measure the intensity for which my ambitions grow but as I look forward, I say, “Not now.” I hesitate before proclaiming for the world to know that I dream, and as I speak, I say, “Now!”
I have endured trials of which I never could have imagined. I have endured infidelity from a husband who craved another woman’s touch. I have endured the suicide of a brother who I thought could do no wrong. I have endured prejudice of people who felt they were superior. I have endured betrayal of a friend who wanted my lover. I have endured pain of a body that gave up before my spirit did. I have endured the grief of planting my father into the Earth from which he came. I have endured sacrifice of personal need in order to provide for my children. I have endured delaying dreams until a better time to pursue them. I have endured the heartache of watching my children hurt and whose pain made me hurt worse than my own. I have endured fear of success, and failure. I have endured life. But I have endured.