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God made me to be a fortress,
standing tall against those who cling to their right to stare as I walk past.
Those who cling to their right to twist my name in their mouths;
those who cling to their right to assert their entitlement;
their right to scare the opposite sex into submission.

God made me to be outer space; my veins connect like constellations.
My heart glows like the brightest star in the sky; watch how men with rock hard heads reflect me.
I have been told I am an empty expanse, with nothing certain to stabilize a man;
I have been told I am too easy to get lost in; I have been told that I lack gravity.
Men forget, too quickly, that the rings of Saturn rest on my hips. I contain galaxies.

God made me to be a garden.
Do not confuse the brown of my skin for fertile soil for you to rest in.
I am reserved for gentle hands willing to toil, in the pouring rain and in the blazing sun.
I do not bloom for just anyone.

God made me Woman.
An individual.
A compilation of stories, waiting to be told.
A fountain of compassion and love.

The next time you think I am a body,
the next time you think my identity begins and ends as a daughter,
or a sister, or your future wife– 
know I am a monument of purpose.

Know, I am a child of God.

God made me Woman.
I am a lullaby in a minor key;
I am the light that wakes you up each morning and the dark that puts you to sleep;
I am an expanse of ocean, with depths that no one but my Heavenly Father has ever seen.
I am the voice that speaks when all others are silent.

I am a monument of purpose. Of destiny. Of possibility.
I am not the voice of the future, I am the voice of today.
The voice of impatience, of restless ambition, of knowing I have been silent for long enough.
Of knowing, God did not create me for tomorrow, or yesterday– God made me for right now.

God made me Woman.
God made me to reclaim my time, to fight for what I know is right.
To stand tall against oppression and injustice.
To overflow with empathy and compassion.

I am Woman.
Thank God, I am Woman.

Anna Gayle

Anna Gayle is a junior digital communication major at Andrews University. She is the cofounder of Andrews' poetry club, The Sound, and after graduation she plans to use poetry to inspire, educate, and enrich the lives of young people. Anna's other passions, besides poetry, include Jesus, art, and her family and friends.

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