Nikki Giovanni


it's not the crutches we decry 
it's the need to move forward 
though we haven't the strength

women aren't allowed to need 
so they develop rituals 
since we all know working hands idle 
the devil 
women aren't supposed to be strong 
so they develop social smiles 
and secret drinking problems 
and female lovers whom they never touch 
except in dreams

men are supposed to be strong 
so they have heart attacks 
and develop other women 
who don't know their weaknesses 
and hide their fears 
behind male lovers 
whom they religiously touch 
each saturday morning on the basketball court 
it's considered a sign of health doncha know 
that they take such good care 
of their bodies