For Such a Time as This: A Poem

by Shannon Harris

In honor of Women's History Month

I speak
for myself
but at this time
in my life
abiding in the love of God
and the love and support of family
(biological and otherwise)

having done inner work
and let time
do its work
developing maturity and confidence
and ultimately


I speak for my sisters (and brothers)
for little chocolate girls and women (and boys and men)
for working class girls and women (and boys and men)
for first-college-graduate-in-their-nuclear-families girls and women (and boys and men)
for any girl or woman (boy or man) who my voice may serve

Cuz someone spoke for me
before I was old enough
before I was grown enough
before I was wise enough
before I was brave enough
before I knew I am enough
to speak for myself

My mama spoke for me
Sojourner spoke for me
Harriet spoke for me
Zora spoke for me
Fannie Lou spoke for me
Nina spoke for me
Maya spoke for me
Cicely speaks for me
Oprah speaks for me
Joan speaks for me
Ntozake speaks for me
Grace speaks for me
india.arie speaks for me
Zadie speaks for me
Michelle speaks for me
Viola speaks for me
Issa Rae speaks for me
Brittney speaks for me
Chimamanda speaks for me
Shionna speaks for me

I speak.

Photo: Shutterstock

Shannon Harris is a NYC-based actor and (when inspiration strikes) writer, presents this poem in honor of Women’s History Month. You can like her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter.