Poetry: “Black Woman Repetition” And “Long Line Of Strong Women”

Black Woman Repetition (After Terrance Hayes)


Black woman, college degree

Black woman, master’s

Black woman student loans,


Black woman loaned her life over to student,

Student, Black woman, woman full time job


Single black woman over 30

Single black woman… 30?


Black woman, world calls bitter

Black woman bitten angry black,

Black woman bitter black angry broke

Is she the only thing broken?


Let’s talk about war, let’s talk about Vietnam men coming home limbless,

Agent orange where black souls should be,


Let’s talk about fathers, daddy didn’t come home,

Black woman got daddy issues, black woman daddy issues,

Black woman, 30 still dealing with daddy issues?


Black woman nurse black man, Black father?

Black boy too afraid of his own insecurities?

Black woman, black hole

Black woman not whole?


Black woman, black woman, you are more than just the hole your thighs uphold


Woman of black, Black woman you are not always the night,

you are not always black and blue,


Black woman not Jonah,

Black boy, are you Jonah?

What do you do when there’s fear inside you the size of a whale’s body?


Black woman wail, Black woman travail for black man,

black woman pray, black woman pray, black woman, don’t be another man’s prey


She swim, black woman float, woman water,

Black woman your face not always an aquarium’s explosion



Long Line of Strong Women


I come from a long line

of strong women, who

know how to birth,

and load rifles all

at the same time

Who juggle babies and careers

and swallowed whole every man

that ever raised his fist

I think of fist,

I think of woman,

The unclenched skin of a toothless hand


When he opened his hand

showed me her teeth,

I remember the powerlessness,

My throat, a voiceless song

I remember the wedding day,

how somehow Mrs. made

it feel like woman, and then

the surgery,

the house I was thrown out of,

the bruises that bloomed

on my body in the morning,


When I say, I come from a long line

of strong women, I mean, I come

from fire-breathers, which means,

I come from dragons, which means,

I come from beings that slay


There is no gun to erase you here

These, are not daddy issues,

Not my brokenness,

This is a fist,

slice through the sky

Middle finger and ring finger

all side by side,

When I say,

I come from a long line of strong women,

What I mean is,

I died a thousand times,

And I always come back




Author: Barbara Fant
Email: barbfant127@gmail.com
Author Bio: Barbara Fant, from Youngstown, Ohio, is a minister, poet and artist facilitator. She has been writing and performing for over 10 years. She has represented Columbus on four National poetry slam teams and five individual competitions. She placed 8th out of 96 poets in the 2017 Women of the World Poetry Slam. She has been commissioned by The Columbus Foundation, the City of Columbus and the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio. She has been featured with The Columbus Symphony, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and The Harmony Project. You can find her work in the Columbus Makes Art campaign, the Columbus Museum of Art, TEDx Columbus and Columbus Alive named her a 2017 People to Watch. She is the author of one poetry collection, “Paint, Inside Out” (released in 2010 by Penmanship Books of New York City), and two chapbooks, “Them Brilliant Suns” and “RibCaged” (both released in March of 2017). She holds a BA in Literature, a master’s in Theology, and is currently pursuing an MFA at Antioch University Los Angeles. She has worked for years in juvenile correctional facilities and schools teaching art as form of healing. Currently, she works at The Columbus Foundation as the Nonprofit Outreach Administrator and teaches poetry at Transit Arts. Barbara believes in the transformative power of art and she considers poetry her ministry.

Link to social media or website: Instagram @bloombarb127



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