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June 4, 2017

Today I am Strong. {Poem}

Taia Butler

Today I am strong.
Not a declaration—
a feeling.

Strong enough to enjoy the cold morning rain with my dog.
Strong enough to tell my friend, “I am okay,”
and mean it.

Strong enough that my bones feel light
and the watermelon-sized ache in my stomach shrinks to a lime
(pregnant women are not the only ones who can compare internal happenings to fruit).

Strong enough to be excited
to work, produce, engage.

Strong enough to have hope
(due to that drink with wings, or maybe too much coffee).

Strong enough to block the knife from driving into my heart,
as it likes to do a few times each day
(today its cut is only skin-deep).

Strong enough to not be terrified that this feeling will fade soon,
leaving me crushed,
too full but also too empty.

And I wonder
am I actually strong,
or am I ignoring my reality?

Hiding.

How much must we process each day,
how often must we remind ourselves,
how do we know strength from survival?

Is it okay
to feel okay?

Is it okay to trust we are strong?

All I know is that today
I feel strong.

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Author: Mary Conroy Almada 
Image: Taia Butler 
Editor: Taia Butler

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Mary Conroy Almada