Original Poetry: Freedom Fighter

Freedom Fighter

By monica stevens

I’m the one who gazed into the eyes of the person on the #13 bus

Who nudged the lady seated next to her

and whispered loudly enough for everyone to hear

“I think that’s a man!”

Summoned up all of the positive inside

Buried deep below dark caverns of negativity

Trapped in an endless moment, like a spark of light straining to escape a singularity of evil,

anger, and burning cold bitterness scattered along a road less traveled

I’m the one who summoned up all the love inside

to quench my pain and anguish

Born of a thousand embarrassments from before, before

Strength gathered from character etched into my marrow-bone

Into the psyche of my heart

By the dry-worn hands of my mama’s embrace

A freedom-fighter who stood steady against injustice

In the doorways of schools and coffee shops

city halls and halls of justice

With fingers in the chests of lawmakers

Men of influence who backed down!

I am the one who stared down sneering, jeering masses on the #13 bus

With knees that shook and eyes that refused to blink

Eyes gazing out into souls of vacant ignorance

Indifferent to knowledge and slaves to misinformation and fear

Some, too ignorant to even know about their ignorance

Truth needs no justification and freedom is its own reward!

I’m the one who looked her dead in the eye

With dignity and grace

And said

“Well of course I am!”

“Why are you whispering about me?”

“I don’t!!”



Monica Stevens runs Sistahs of the “t”, a peer-led support network for transgender women of color.

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