She was lightning in a bottle, an enigmatic smile…
She was the headlights on the highway, the long awaited final mile.
She was the first flurry of snowflakes, the sunshine pouring through the blinds,
she was the first fallen leaf of Autumn, she was the dream you saw when you closed your eyes.
She was the mother balancing her baby on her hip, as she desperately counted that night’s tips,
she was the woman carrying signs, applying for permits, a new, inexperienced, part time activist,
she was the exhausted teacher in the classroom, facing rows of eager eyes,
she was the journalist at the paper, tirelessly checking men’s lies.
She was the sweet spray of perfume in a room filled with cologne,
she was addressed as daughter, wife, mother; but never as her own.
She was the one who signed Ms in the courtroom, on the affidavit,
she was the long forgotten firework just waiting to be lit.
She was the one who looked the man who called her ‘slut’ right in the eye, stared him down and made it impossible for him to hide.
She was the one who spoke up, took up space, made herself known – she was the one who helped others do the same, when they felt helpless and alone.
She was 6 am, waking the children for school, checking her essay, prepping for meetings, swimming lengths at the pool.
She was 6pm, working late, making do, at the gym, at parent’s evening, trying to make herself unnoticed on the tube.
She was a beautiful red dress on her 18th birthday, she was the tears that came later as she begged him to go away.
She was the black graduation cap she flung in the air, she was the pride and satisfaction that she finally made it there.
She was the warning to carry hairspray, your keys, an alarm,
she was the sight of a man ahead and the breathless struggle to keep calm.
She was the one in the portrait, the history book, the fable,
She was the one who made love on the cold kitchen tiles, then later set the table.
She was all giving and all taking, and both at the same time,
She was you and and she was me, and she is well and truly alive.