They don’t give me enough credit
I walk through the dark alley
my “head high”
my heart falling.

I wear my essence like a cape
not to fly, but to hide
I am not allowed to be a bird.

I am expected to keep quiet
laugh at the jokes
when men tell me to smile
I must keep my smile shut
“Patience is pretty,” they say
I am the prettiest of all.

My essence
covering my wounds
soft fabric
turning into lullabies
I am tired of hiding
from a world that has hurt me

I choose my battles
with patience
I wait all of them out
not because I am ashamed
or because of what's between my legs
but because I’m making patience
my value
I am now entitled to my silence.