Maya Angelou speaks to us; let us listen...

Woman Work


I've got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I got company to feed
The garden to weed
I've got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The can to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick. 

Shine on me, sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brow again. 

Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
'Til I can rest again. 

Fall gently, snowflakes
Cover me with white
Cold icy kisses and
Let me rest tonight. 

Sun, rain, curving sky
Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
Star shine, moon glow
You're all that I can call my own.

Maya Angelou

As in all of her poetry Maya Angelou's words seem to fall effortlessly from her pen onto paper; bringing her readers a delicate cadence of powerful and monumental messages wrapped in brilliance, she lures us in and we are wrapped within her stories.

Woman Work  in particular was significant to me when I became a mother, a parent. Within the female depiction of perseverance and strength she cries out, yearns, for a rest. In the midst of work and tasks that seem to be never-ending she also understands, accepts and welcomes it all; she is a mother, she will not stop doing what needs to be done to care for her family. In this poem she is a single parent and does have the weight of the world upon her exhausted shoulders; however, whether we are a single parent or in a committed relationship the feeling of solitude or helplessness and fatigue can be a stanza in all of our stories, our personal poems.

For every new parent and family there is a doula; the after is just as important, if not more so than, the before.   This article is one of many that echoes this statement.  A Postpartum Doula For Every Mother




Jessie Loeb