Perhaps I push too often, push too hard, am too unyielding with myself. Perhaps it is that I always look for the fault within first, despite my judgmental nature. Perhaps it is that I am harshest with the woman I see too rarely in the mirror, preferring the representative green reflection of computer screen and virtual pen. Perhaps it is simply that I do not satisfy easily, and look always to do better, be better, perform better. It may be, in the final reckoning, that I simply learned what was imprinted in that dark room too deeply, too well, and thus I fight during the hours the imprint was laid instead of resting with my beloved.

In the end it will simply be a decision: you have worked enough, rest now; he calls you, his body, sinew, cells; his emotion, heart; that soft spot not even Gran’mom Charlotte and neglect could not harden, it needs you beside him in bed.

He loves you, needs you, your physical body. From experience you know that the full size is not the same without him there unless you are already unconscious; he too feels that aloneness. Prove your love by allaying your demons to lay beside him at 10, 11, 9—he will appreciate it more than an essay.

And you say this chapter is about pushing, or the miracle of pushing, and I say what God wants you to understand now is that man needs you, every night, beside him, to tether him to the planet as Gran’mom Charlotte haunts his dreams. He chooses no longer to fight her alone. Does not know another way to tell you, ask you, to hold him. You are the first to appreciate his vise grip—its multiple purposes.

And though for you the glorious moment was that of the young men continuously welcoming him, appreciating him, needing him at that din of untrained spoken word known as Pearl of Africa, the way something in their souls spirits cleaved unto a true fearless unintimidated Black male elder in the room; though you thought this essay to be about the way you worried and fretted about what that room full of youth and arrogance and disregard would do to him, you loved the bold way he stood his own, read his long poems and preached to them. The child in each of them, hungry for an elder’s stories, an elder’s wisdom, an elder’s guidance and knowledge, fell at his feet as he encouraged, chastised, and lovingly taught and raised them.

You thought this essay to be about all of that, about the street singing, you finding a music instructor at long last, one tender and not intimidating, kind and spirit-filled and one of them; you thought this was about the first two phone calls to put intuitive counseling out there, about your obedience to a God you love more than fear and so you obey more than run, converse more than cower ……

…… but no, this is about 2:59 a.m. and your man in bed alone, and you in the laundry room, writing.

This is about the persistence of your demons and when, yes when, girl, are you going to tell them good-bye?

Niama Leslie Williams, Ph.D.
Copyright February 2009

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Niama L. Williams is the guiding force behind Blowing Up Barriers Enterprises, a company that specializes in leading you to the life you have dreamed of living but can't quite seem to get to on your own.

She is the author of nine books, each describing her survival of trauma and celebrating those who have assisted her as she's walked her path.

Dr. Ni also facilitates two workshop series, "Affirming the Fully Imagined Life" and "It's Okay To Want: Eroticism and the Survival of Sexual Trauma" and interviews authors the first Saturday of every month from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. on "Poetry & Prose & Anything Goes with Dr. Ni" under the auspices of

Review her credentials, publications and workshop descriptions at her website:; listen to her audiobooks at; or read the latest of her personal story at Tim Hooker's Sushi Tuesday,