because #metoo is just too much

i have not
always been brave

i don’t know how many there were
i was on the ground
there were hands
grabbing at me.
squeezing me.
pinching me.
i couldn’t tell you
how long it lasted.
it ended when i grabbed
one of them by the
back of his head slammed
his face into the gravel and
dragged him till the white
meat showed. the teacher asked
if i had any regrets. i told her, ‘hell nah.’

i was six.

i did not always have
a snappy comeback

i’m not like the other boys.
i can give you a baby.
why the phuck would
i want a baby?

i was 12.

i was always afraid
i was always angry

my uncle took me into the basement.
he told me this is what they will say.
this is what they will do.
no matter how scared you feel.
no matter how hurt you are.
don’t you let them mutha phuckas
see you cry. don’t you ever let them
see you cry. you fight them mutha phuckas.
you fight them with everything in you.
you make them feel like you willing to die.
cause they not willing to die.
they think it’s a game. you make sure you make them
feel like this is not a game to you. this is your body.
now show me your right hook.

i was 7.

i was not a warrior
i was not an aggressor

hey girl come over here.
let me give you something good.
i’ll help you grow up real fast.
you’s a dirty low down mutha phucka!
i hope you die a lonely death and
maggots eat your eyes out! you
nasty ass low down mutha phucka!
i hope all your kids hate you and
your woman kill you in your sleep.

i was 13.

there were times
i just stood there
times i froze
times i felt paralyzed

do you understand
you could have broken
his jaw? do you understand
if he ever touches me again,
his jaw will be the

i was 11.

i wanted someone
else to fight this fight
i wanted someone
else to save me

if you’re nice to me
i’ll give you any shift
you want.
if you keep coming back
messing with me i’m
gon cut you and
make it look
like an accident.
that’s not being nice.
no that’s telling
you the truth.

i was 16.

i was a poet
they made
me a soldier

my measurements
were 36″24″36″
mommy bought me
a purple jacket
that i wore everyday
like armor
my grandfather
taught me
knife skills.

i was 11.

questioned myself
i second guessed
am i a good
judge of character
can i tell the difference
between a smile that is
friendly and one that is

why are you so violent?
what is the appropriate
response to violence?
lying down and
taking it?

i was 16.

me, at 14.

i don’t know a woman who doesn’t have a story.  i don’t know a girl who hasn’t had to be brave. i don’t get how anyone is surprised by the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and sexual assault. the idea that so many women and individuals who identify as femme have to once again ‘out’ themselves in order to bring this issue to light, astounds me. it’s time we stop pretending we don’t know this is happening. it’s time we stop faking the funk. it’s time we all say no more. enough. this isn’t the culture we want our children to inherent. this isn’t the culture we want to live in. this isn’t who we are. unless of course, it is.


11 Comments Add yours

  1. I admire your courage even as I wish you never had to deal with that. Me, too

    1. It is my hope that we one day eradicate sexual harassment and assault.

  2. msjadeli says:

    Reblogged this on Tao Talk and commented:
    I haven’t specifically written to the #metoo campaign that is going on, but I’ve read an awful lot of others writing on the subject. Wanda Olugbala writes with deep resonance for me on the subject.

    1. It’s my honor that you would consider my words for your blog. I may not be a Daoist but I believe this message is, unfortunately, universal.

  3. msjadeli says:

    your words are a punch to the gut for me, as i feel the gravity of the truth about how universal these experiences are for females (and young males as well). thank you for giving voice for the untold numbers. what moves me most about your telling are the men in your life who tried to prepare you for what was coming. bless them

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing on Tao Talk. I appreciate you stopping by to listen.

      1. msjadeli says:

        It was my honor to read and share your creation.

  4. heyannis says:

    Profound and sadly too true and pervasive. I love your courage as well as your style, Wanda. Thank you. Thank you. xoA

    1. Thank you for reading. It helps to know that there is someone listening.

  5. lexc13 says:

    Thank you for sharing. Only way I can think of to describe it is disturbingly beautiful.

    1. Thank you for reading.

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