let my soul shine

dirty, dark urges

stole all of my firsts

I was too little,

too young

to fight

how could I

let my soul shine

bruised and bleeding


my worth

feeling deserving

of my poor,



how could I

let my soul shine

foul, muscled hands

muffled my cries

in the night

somehow I knew to

let my soul shine

living in darkness

that tried to


all light

I had to try to

let my soul shine

i couldn’t make them love me


as I might

still, I had to

let my soul shine

from my family’s cage

at fourteen,

this bird


took flight

to freely

let my soul shine

~Melanie Blackwell

To say I felt an emotional connection with Maya Angelou’s poetry would be an understatement.  

The above poem is my meager tribute to a phenomenal woman. I leave you with a quote.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

― Maya AngelouLetter to My Daughter


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17 responses to “let my soul shine

  1. sonia

    You may not forget the events that tried to smother your very breath, but you made a choice not to allow the memories of the utter cruelty dominate the rest of your life. Even at 5, your soul knew instinctively there existed something other than darkness,which guided you internally toward your eventual flight at 14. And now the power of your pen guides the world toward the same light which empowers all flights from the world of darkness, either experienced deep down inside or in our physical surrounding. Your pen is the mighty sword of justice shining for liberty for all. That’s how powerful your own flight is. Thank you for your unshakeable stand!

  2. nokindofmagic

    Every pause in this poem stands for unknown amount of time when clenched teeth fail to distract enough…

  3. Definitely a phenomenal woman, even at fourteen! 🙂 To escape and fly from a trap is worthy of a medal, it’s amazing how many never do, and mainly because they can’t find the will to believe in themselves and the fact that they are correct. I wonder sometimes why it is that some of us birds rise up and find the strength to escape and while others stay exactly where they are. I’m pretty determined never to reduced by my past events. If anything I’m sure they give me fuel to keep moving forward to where I want to end up! 🙂

  4. yeseventhistoowillpass

    I loved her too my friend… This too will pass… You indeed have her abilities…

  5. laurie27wsmith

    Deep and tragic Melanie.

  6. Nothing can dim your light. Nothing. You are a shining beacon Melanie. Your poetry is a voice that exposes the truth and lights the way for others. This poem is a lovely tribute to Maya Angelou. You know how I feel about this. Wings out, sword in hand. Hugs my sweet friend.

  7. Maya Angelou is amazing and her words give me strength as well. You are a phenomenal writer and woman also (hugs) Reading this was painful (hits so close to home) but it was also empowering the repeated verse was very effective

  8. I read your poetry and I cry. That is how powerful your word are Melanie.

  9. Pingback: let my soul shine | Wordifull

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