What Do I Say?

By Noeme Grace C Tabor-Farjani

for Dorcas, a friend, on her birthday 

What do I say? / A thousand words said / over and over again. / What else do I say? / Except the unknown, / unheard, unseen, maybe. / But what can be hidden / from the light that you are? / That is what many / do not know. That / in your show / that is all there is— / what you see is what you get.

Some see a sacrilege / in acts. But your allure / is sacred. Some call you bold. / Why not? It’s just / another word for brave. / You cried out the whispers / behind your back / onto my shoulders. / Someone called you blunt. / I say, / honest, true, / authentic. Remember the fall / from the stairs? We called it / “style going down.” We proclaimed / every disorder in movement, / at work, in language—ART. / We find joy in what we do, / and so, we create more joy / that even our very tears / decide to join in / the laughter. Remember / your father’s funeral? / In between sigh / and grief, you are / just one stubborn / lady, bull-like.

Here is your power: that persistent  / joy, the gait. You are the picture / that comes to me  / in Maya Angelou’s poem Phenomenal Woman. / But here is what I want to read:  / Edna St. Vincent Millay’s The Penitent: something  / about a little sorrow / and a little sin. A sorrow / unwept, a sin unslept. / Something / about gloom, something unlit.

I do not wish you / a happy birthday. / Cliched. You are / already happy. / I wish that you have / some wonderful story / to tell, of today. / Shine on, dear. / Tireless, like the sun. / Thirst on, for the waters.

Learn more about Noeme Grace in her bio on the Featured Author page.

Published by HLWW Featured Author

Featured Author of the Heartland Society of Women Writers

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