Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices: ‘The Woman of This House’ a poem by Alicia Harmon

<p>A rundown building stands in 2016 in West Englewood in Chicago, Illinois. </p>

A rundown building stands in 2016 in West Englewood in Chicago, Illinois.


I don’t want no daughter, 

because I know 

I’d have to spend too much time 

reminding her that

I am the woman of this house. 

Little girl, 

you bet not forget my name 

since I’ll be the one 

paying for this bitch. 

You need me 

and let me tell you 

that I’m not needy 

for what you barely got to give.

I am the woman of this house. 

When I pound my foot on this floor

and you hear echos through these walls,

know that’s where this foot stays. 

No, I will not be disrespected. 

No, you don’t have control 

of what goes on here. 

Know full well 

that you have the mind of a child 

and I don’t know nothing about wisdom 

coming from the mouth of babes. 

I will be the woman of my house. 

And, no, I don’t want no daughter. 

I don’t have love big enough

for her to be big. 

I don’t have patience long enough

for her to stretch my mind.

I’ve lived in too much fear

of being buried and shrunk down 

to have her narrow ass

rising up against me,

towering over me,

to risk her not loving me

like I want her to love me,

to risk her not being 

how I imagined she’d be.

I shake at the thought of a little girl, 

so, God, save her from my hands

and drop her in the arms of another woman.

But if a girl child

should ever come from me, 

bring my knees to the dirt

and give me the faith 

to grip her hand in my sweaty palm, 

to endure by her side

through anything.

If a girl child 

should ever come from me, 

let me also

birth my strength. 

Little girl,

I promise my house will be yours.



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