I know a woman, who suffered unspeakable brutality,
in a time when women were but chattel,
at the hands of one who took an oath before God to love, protect and cherish her.
I know a woman, who suffered in silence,
the indignities caused by a philandering husband
who chose to flaunt rather than hide his indiscretions with different women,
I know a woman who raised five children
on an income of less than $7000 a year.
I know a woman, who worked three jobs at a time,
who slept on the front porch so her boys and girls could have the two bedrooms.
I know a woman who had a heart large enough to embrace
two more motherless children
when she did not know how she was going to feed her own.
How many of your dreams died daily?
How did you endure the loneliness when it came late at night?
How many times was your hope scattered as disappointment came?
How many prayers did you offer up that seemingly went unanswered?
Where was your peace?
Where was your piece of the American Dream?
I cannot count the cost of my high school graduation party
or my prom dress.
How many shirts and pants did you have to iron?
How many tubes of lipstick did you sell?
How many bottoms did you have to wipe?
How do I begin to count the cost of your sacrifice
that I might have life?
How do I begin to say thank you?
Will words do?