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Dad of a beautiful little girl. Husband to an amazing woman. Son and sibling of a perfectly weird and wonderful family.

Still She Rises

Dear Malin Reese,

Maya Angelou matters and because of that, I am sad today. But tomorrow and the next day, our little family, who I hold onto tightly, will rise.

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Her legacy and worth will outlive her death and her work, in all of its grit and grandeur, will breathe grace and soul into one generation after another. Maya Angelou matters and because of that, I am sad today. But tomorrow and the next day, our little family, who I love beyond repair, will rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Maya Angelou was a REAL woman. She defined womanhood for an entire generation. She was an activist but more than that she was a philosopher. She waxed poetic and had no shame using her words as subtle weapons when necessary. But at her core, she used her words to unify. She was far more interested in illuminating the fact that human beings, regardless of race , creed and color, are more alike than most would care to admit. Maya Angelou matters and because of that, I am sad today. But tomorrow and the next day, our little family, who makes me whole, will rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

I wish everyday that you’ll become a tough and thoughtful woman with a heart full of love. I hope that your Mom and I will be good enough examples to make this happen. If we don’t always do right by you, I am grateful that you can turn to the wisdom of Maya Angelou to fill the gaps. Maya Angelou matters and because of that, I am sad today. But what I’ve learned from her trumps my sadness. Tomorrow and the next day our little family, who MATTERS more to me than anything else in the world, will rise.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Love,

Dad

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4 Comments on “Still She Rises”

  1. K. Renae P. May 29, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    Well done. What a wonderful letter from a Dad to his little girl.

  2. beleyne May 30, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

    A beautiful letter.

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