A Black Woman's Apology

by Stephanie Angelique

I must bow my head in a repentance stance
For I have been remiss
In the bitterness, of being lonely.

I have sought for the prize 
Of you for so long
Not realizing the treasure that truly lies within.

It was I, the missing rib
That kept you one rib short this long;
Due to the conditioning 
Of this infected society.
I have let my spiritual belief
Become slanted into thinking 
That there was no you without me;
When in reality 
There was no us without we.

I let the preachers tell me
You were not saved enough
I let the teachers tell me 
You were not smart enough
I let the politicians tell me
You were not safe enough
I let the employers tell me
You didn't work hard enough
I let the police tell me
You were not civilized enough
And I let the "Man" tell me
You were not committed enough
To the entity of our Progeny.

I aimlessly targeted for
The one's who fit the 
Archetype that others  
Had drew of you.
You … who had been
Friend…To me…
…me who now defined you by another's standard.
This is a black woman's apology.

After to many years of living in 
Someone else's definition of 
Who I am to you and who you are
To me, I can truly say 
I am now divinely enlightened.

How heavy my heart
When I think on all the time
I wasted doubting
…Your intellect
… Your sensitivity
… Your ethics
… Your fidelity
… Your masculinity
… Your sexuality
… Your Manhood
… Your Spirituality
…Your love.
Oh, this is a Black Woman's apology.

For I am sorry for every time
I sexed you without loving you
Sorry for every time 
I flirted with you when you 
Were married
Sorry for every time 
I lost interest because  
You were about something 
More than getting in my bed.

Yes this black woman 
Hangs her head in shame
For every time I helped
You to cheat on a test
For every time 
I did your work 
And every time
I made you look good
Without any effort from you.

I am sorry for every 
Unprotected sexual encounter
That we enjoyed, 
Which lead to 
STD's given and received,
to the unwanted babies
And far worse…
The unwanted abortions of life.

I fervently apologize
For the loud talking 
In public
And the challenges that 
Made you look and feel small.
For the family planning 
Without consulting you.
For all the times I let you
Get away with just paying
Child support, instead of 
Asking for some support 
Of your child.

How sorry I am 
For putting up with
The other women and men 
You sleep with.
Sorry for closing my eyes
When you did drugs
And drank too much.

But you must know
That the sorrow 
That comes from 
The depth of my soul
Comes from all the 
Times I went to God 
On bended knee
And left you behind.
For that was the 
Time when you 
Needed me the most.

I am sorry that 
I intended to live
This life 
Thinking that you 
Were satisfied with
My success alone.
A pseudo success
Birthed by our captors
And enhanced by their offspring
To keep you one rib short
And me, a piece lost 
From our puzzle.

Yes this black woman
Is sorry for what I have done.
Sorry because I should have
Expected better…I should have
Demanded better,
Because you are capable
Of better.

Another woman cries 
Because I picked up what
She could no longer hold.
Another brother loves
One who does not look 
Like him because 
I have rejected him
Mentally and Spiritually.
And a brother does not
Love at all
Because I have showed him
That it is not required.

Oh Yes…
This is a black woman's apology.
I now know that to love myself
Is to love you.
Let the healing begin.

A Black Woman's Apology by Stephanie Angelique

© Copyright 2002. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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