I am so blessed to have innumerable women heroes in my life. This month, I honor my sister Onorine who sacrificed her life to pay my high school tuition. I honor my Aunts Antonia and Godelive who were rejected by their own paternal family for being girls but chose love over hatred and resentment. They built for me an oasis of peace and rest; a place to sit, invigorate and recharge my battery to continue my life’s journey through the desert. And with every bit of my heart, I humbly say “thank you” to all women, all around the world, still living and already departed, who inspired us with their courage, hard work, resiliency and determination; who suffered silently through rape, miscarriage, childbirth, infertility, ostracism…but kept praying and hoping for future generations of women to get a better life. I finally honor you women at Worldpulse, for having given me and all of us a voice. I appreciate each one of you. It feels good to belong to a community of fantastic women like you. For this occasion, I am sharing with you my two cents in form of my two following poems.

Enjoy!

WE ARE THE EXTENSION OF ONE ANOTHER By Vera Nicimpaye

We are the extension of one another Each one of us is in all of us All of us are in each one of us

We are the extension of one another When we find one of us we find ourselves When we lose one of us we lose ourselves

We are the extension of one another When we bless one of us we bless ourselves When we annoy one of us we annoy ourselves

We are the extension of one another When we care for one of us we care for ourselves When we neglect one of us we neglect ourselves

We are the extension of one another When we love one of us we love ourselves When we detest one of us we detest ourselves

We are the extension of one another United we will live together Divided we will perish together

Because WE ARE THE EXTENSION OF ONE ANOTHER.

ONCE I STOPPED By Vera Nicimpaye

Once I stopped emphasizing on looking like a Barbie doll And started empathizing and being friendly to all Flowers started blooming on ice, deserts gorged with water And the wind whispered mysterious words, filling my heart with laughter.

Once I stopped trying to be the better version for he And started focusing on being the better version of me Wisdom came to meet me, freedom opened its door And I jumped with joy, because I had finally reached the ore.

Once I stopped looking for who cared And started learning how to care Mountaintops opened up and sang for me And valleys got up to hug me, filling me with glee.

Once I stopped obsessing about how many I could change And started pondering on how much I could change My life’s burdens became as light as feathers And my spirit soared past clouds until it reached the heavens.

Once I stopped counting how much I wanted And started counting how much I had My world was filled with all what I needed And with abundance and peace of mind I was filled.

Once I stopped longing for a visit to Disneyland And started longing for a visit to the “heartland” Struggle and stress were swayed away by satisfaction And lack and want were swallowed up by an ocean of completion.

Once I stopped looking at myself through social mirror And started looking at myself through the divine mirror The beauty and splendor I saw were so bright they burnt my eyes And I saw the wonder woman that I was, the masterpiece of an “Intelligent Design”.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to International Women's Day 2011: A Call for Heroes.

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Vera, you write so beautifully! I really enjoy the image of the oasis the women heroes in your family helped to create for you. Thank you so much for sharing your poetry!