Still I Shine

by stephanietsaikarlik

(Inspired by Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise”)

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You may slander me most viciously

With all of that free time,

You may sling mud at my very face,

But still, like stars, I shine.

Does my comedy upset you?

Why wear that cynical frown?

‘Cause I stand like I’ve got gold bars

stacked up in a bank downtown.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like lights beaming bright,

Still I’ll shine.

Did you want to see me crippled?

Slumped down and far from fine?

Tears falling like weeping willows

Sobbing for what once was mine.

Does my confidence offend you?

Don’t you act so asinine

‘Cause I walk like I’ve got diamonds

Draped around my sharp neckline.

You may bite me with your venom,

You may murder me in your mind,

You may hunt me with your hatefulness,

But still, like jewels, I’ll shine.

Does my openness offend you?

Does it hurt that I will dance

Like I’ve got oil wells in my back yard

and a lover waiting in France?

Out from a zig-zagging history

I shine

Out from a past of adversity

I shine

I’m a fruit tree, rich, rooted, and strong

Growing and giving, I sing my peace song.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

We shine.

Into tomorrow so gorgeously clear

We shine.

Bearing the gifts that our ancestors bestowed,

With brothers and sisters, we build our abode.

We shine.

We shine.

We shine.

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“Still I Rise”

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestor’s gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

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