My stuff is the anonymous ripped-off treasure of the year. Did you know somebody almost got away with me? Me, in a plastic bag under his arm. Me, Juanita Sims. Somebody almost walked off with all my stuff.”

Have you ever watched a movie, drama, play, show, maybe read a book that truly disturbed your soul. Something that leaves you so moved that when the credits come up, when you close that last page, you feel empty and full at the same time. A movie that makes you question what you have always known as if you had never known it.

Last night I was reluctant to study so I decided to watch a movie while I did my hair. I watched “For Coloured Girls.” I didn’t enjoy the movie and yet I thought it was brilliant. If art is meant to “comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable” then that movie was a work of art. I felt such conflicting emotions as I watched the woman who did so much for women in her community fight herself and lose so many times before her final victory. Her triumphant poem at the end of the movie after she finally has the strength to say goodbye for the last time “somebody almost walked away with all of my stuff” spoke to my soul. It hit me as she cried as he walked out that sometimes a victory means some kind of sadness and its perfectly alright.

Someone almost walked away with all of my stuff is a poem by a woman who very nearly lost her identity to a man. It’s a deep loss. Losing an appreciation for one’s self. For the world. For others. Losing an appreciation for love. A loss that results from too many disappointments and heartbreaks. A loss that results from trust broken again and again and again. A loss one could easily miss for if you don’t know that it has been stolen and the thief doesn’t know he or she has stolen it who will point it out to you. For how could you be lost or stolen when you can see yourself in the mirror everyday. She says Somebody almost ran off with all of my stuff and I was standing there looking at myself the whole time. It wasn’t a spirit that ran off with my stuff. It was a man whose ego walked ’round like Rodan’s shadow’. It was a man faster than my innocence. It was a lover I made too much room for. Almost ran off with all my stuff and the one running with it don’t know he got it. I’m shouting, “This is mine!” and he don’t even know he got it.”

What is a person left with after a bitter disappointment? What are you left with when a person you have given your all and yourself to, someone you have loved on purpose, someone you have helped on purpose, someone you embraced on purpose, a lover, a friend, family, takes it and runs…. My stuff is the anonymous ripped-off treasure of the year. Did you know somebody almost got away with me? Me, in a plastic bag under his arm. Me, Juanita Sims. Somebody almost walked off with all my stuff.”

It is remarkably frightening how easy it is for someone to walk away with all your stuff. Your love for your wide hips, for that scar you got while climbing a fence, your funny walk, your weird laugh, your long nose (me), your quirky sense of style, your spirit of adventure, your ability to love wholly and completely, your ability to trust, your faith…. yourself. This poem says to me and to you stop him! stop her! stop them! They are walking away with you under their arm and leaving you with what? And who is this you left me with? Some simple b**** with a bad attitude?” How many of us know a person left bitter by a broken relationship?

Take charge! Refuse! No matter what another may do to you. You own yourself and you own your stuff. This is mine, Juanita’s own things. That’s my name. Now give me my stuff.”

The poem…..


Somebody almost walked off with all of my stuff

Somebody almost walked off with all of my stuff
and didn’t care enough to send a note home saying
“I was late for my solo conversation” or
“two sizes too small for my own tacky skirts”.
What can anybody do with something of no value on an open market?
 Did you get a dime for my things?
 Hey, man! Where are you going with all of my stuff?
This is a woman’s trip and I need my stuff to “Ooh” and “Ah” about.
Honest to God, somebody almost ran off with all of my stuff
and I didn’t bring anything but the kick and sway of it.
The perfect ass for my man and none of it is theirs.
This is mine, Juanita’s own things. That’s my name. Now give me my stuff.
I see you hiding my laugh and how I sit with my legs open sometimes to give my crotch some sunlight. This is some delicate leg and whimsical kiss. I gotta have to give to my choice.
So you can’t have me unless I give me away.
And I was doing all that till you ran off on a good thing.
And who is this you left me with? Some simple bitch with a bad attitude?
 I want my things. I want my arm with the hot iron scar. I
 want my leg with the flea bite. Yeah, I want my things.
I want my calloused feet and quick language back in my mouth.
I want my own things. How I loved them. Somebody almost ran off with all of my stuff and I was standing there looking at myself the whole time.
It wasn’t a spirit that ran off with my stuff.
It was a man whose ego walked ’round like Rodan’s shadow’.
It was a man faster than my innocence. It was a lover I made too much room for.
Almost ran off with all my stuff and the one running with it don’t know he got it.
I’m shouting, “This is mine!” and he don’t even know he got it.
My stuff is the anonymous ripped-off treasure of the year.
Did you know somebody almost got away with me?
Me, in a plastic bag under his arm. Me, Juanita Sims.
Somebody almost walked off with all my stuff.

Advertisements