2021
POETRY OPEN
Honorable Mention
$25 Award

MYSELF

by Ana Wooldridge

Since I gotta do it by myself

Then I’ll do it myself 

That means no more putting myself down…

Ain’t looking for no help…

See we live in the world…

Where they make it hard for black little boys…

And black little girls…

There ain’t no handouts…

You gotta stand out…

Show them that you’re different…

You gotta walk through flames

Jump through hoops…

Give them something to remember…

That’s really fucked up though…🤦🏾‍♀️

Society puts so much pressure…

They make us feel like we’re lesser…

Because the color of our skin…

They wanna parade you…

Then degrade you…

To where you still feel like you can’t win…

But that ain’t gon’ stop me

I am the proxy…

Of my own fucking life…

I’ve been stressed…

Heart shattered…

Couldn’t get out of the bed type of depressed…

But still I survived…

I stood on all ten toes

When I felt the lowest of the low…

Cuz although I’m impatient 

I gotta have patience…

Because myself…

Is my motivation…

Ana Wooldridge is a licensed massage therapist from St. Louis, MO. She’s been writing music and poetry since an early age. “I started off college with a major in audio engineering with a minor in voice before I chose another path. Writing has always been one of my first loves and my style is very raw and uncensored. I’ve been more focused on the poetry aspect of writing since the pandemic because I’ve had more time.”