Feminism is the gritty, speckled fibers
Of the Brown and Black soil,
In which I firmly plant the soles of my feet.
Her garden cultivates my self-love and inner peace,
As she kisses the roots of my ancestor’s sage plant,
And intertwines with the energy of the sun.
I am a seed in her space of knowledge.
Sown into the earth
By the hands of my great-great-grandmother,
She planted hopes and dreams
Into the womb of this nameless, infinite space.
Often, the privileged call her Feminism.
Her grounding energy nourishes my soul,
And her succulent nature is sustaining.
Our history is the lifeblood
Coursing through her xylem-veins,
Bruised by emotional trauma.
Her tight grasp suffocates the weeds of patriarchy,
And stifles the encroaching
Grips of domination,
As she shovels out of the depths of inequity.
Her red clay stains the perfectly, white petals.
In her cool, dark presence,
There exists solidarity,
And her earth children grow taller.
One day, they will
Surpass the invisible fences
Of the systems enclosing her garden.
I am inextricably bound to her presence,
And her to mine.
This is not what I’ve always known,
But what I have chosen to learn.
I live, bare-footed,
In her raw, piercing truths.
Fed from the bitter manure,
Seeping from the deepest pits
Of her silt layered body.
She teaches me to breathe…in…out…in…out…
Alexis Stanton is a senior at the University of Michigan, double majoring in Women’s Studies and Psychology. She is a carefree Black girl, self-proclaimed poet, avid reader, yogi, runner, and researcher in-training. She is passionate about creating healing spaces in which women of color can practice unconditional self-love. She hopes to use her interest in research to advocate for women of color’s mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health and well-being.