Hold My Face

Hold my backback.

Hold my purse.

Hold my drink.

These lines

These words signify moments.

They signify places.

They signify something was / is about to go down

And your

Girls, your sisters, your women, your crew

Would be witness


party to something.

On the corner around your / Our school.

In a club.


I graduated as an adult with a certain title

To holding my face.

Literally in a meeting I can / could be seen holding my face

Because it doesn’t  hide much.

I have a hard time holding in my expressions:

Twisted mouth,

Pursed lips,

A slight sigh of exasperation.


There is an expectation now as an adult

As a woman

With a certain title

To maintain a certain decorum that I will admit I’m not always good at.


I’ve become somewhat of an expert at holding my voice,

Holding back a curse

An accent

But my face always gives it away.


Today as a meeting ended I was told by a dear colleague that I was all in during the meeting.

I think I held my voice but I didn’t hold my face.

I didn’t apologize but just said something about it being a new year

With less fear,

Less desire to hold in things.


I’m still navigating my own presence

My own power

And balancing the expectations that come with being

A woman

Of a certain age

With a certain title


I need to own that I also have graduated

And have had certain experiences

That don’t require me to hold in so much.

There’s too much going on

For me

For others

For us

To keep holding in our breaths

Our faces

Our understanding of reality based on decades of


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