If You Only Knew
“Ade” Anita Johnson


If you only knew the layers you need to pass through
to reach the ever-renewing riches in the center of my soil
Like rings on the trunk of an ancient tree,
regal, wise and ultimately free from any notions you have of me
The layers reveal the chapters in the story of how I came to be
Not the colorful leaves or moss-covered bark I let people touch and see
The deep embedded honey sticky sap that nourishes me, gives me potency,
vulnerability to birth nations through me, released through the center of me,
through my hands, my thighs, my lips, my eyes
through the top of my head and down through my legs
I was created a creator that can’t be denied
If you only took the time to invest in my trinity: my beauty, my empathy and intellect
you’d find that riches really do grow on the limbs sprouting inside of me.
You’d find craters, crevices, cliffs, and mountain streams,
pass through flames that flicker, fuel my will to travel
over, around and through the minefield left for me to survive.
Kicking off my heels, fighting fierce fathoms appearing real
Somehow, I thrive
Bombs set to detonate each time I arrive in a place where I can finally stand,
step out of the shadow of some towering, overpowering man
not wiser, not stronger just blubbering about some no existent plan
or blinded by the thick fog of the world’s demands.
Disguising the scars, slipping through the bars
built to hold the wandering worlds blossoming in my womb
Just as I find myself again, they shut down the matrix,
change the rules, shift the maze, cackle, poke and yell,
“You can’t win;  a woman is just a joke.
Go get yourself evenly yoked
and just maybe you’ll escape the illusion of the original sin.”
Eve wasn’t even my kin.
Our first mother was hidden from us and African.
How can we get to our destiny if we don’t know where we begin?

If you only knew the potent power, healing hands,
rhythmic remedies and mystical magic that we be
Understood the fierce fight, hidden gems,
wind whispering warriors spinning spells in plain sight, you see
Endured the long frigid nights, days and days devoid of praise facing uncontrolled rage, we bleed
Forged in a golden mold each holding secrets sew in an exquisite robe
Designed to battle beasts with grace and agility, illusive and bold
Young and alert, created from earth but crowned with sparkling sky, ancient and whole
If they only knew or stopped trying to deny
that our elimination would cause the entire world to die
Our elevation would build bridges, close chasms, and bring together the ever-expanding divide
Women, if you only knew
Our freedom is the illusive key to everyone’s eternity only then will our children truly be free
Women, if we only knew


[With apologies to the author, formatting could not be maintained for this page; please see the original here ]