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Phenomenal Women

Usually around Mother’s Day as a Postpartum Group Facilitator, I would read the sassy poem by Maya Angelou aloud to my circle of new moms. Why?

I wanted to remind us all of who we were, before round the clock diaper changes.

We were women before we became mothers and now we are desperate to bring balance to both.

Women are an amazing species who miraculously grow human beings both in the womb and out in the world.

We have the greatest strength to withstand the tumultuous storms that swirl our lives with death, loss & illness, all the while supporting others through their own.

Ladies, no matter what you are going through, cancer, BRCA challenges or any hardship, I want you to know that you are phenomenal! This one’s for you:

Phenomenal Woman

By Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.   
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.   
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,   
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Photo credit: Bethany Haller.  Winged Victory of Samothrace at the Louvre Museum