Strong Woman

If you are a strong woman

protect yourself from the beasts who want to feed off your heart.

They use all the disguises of earth’s carnival:

they disguise themselves as guilt, as opportunities,

as prices that you have to pay.


Not to light up with your fire

but to extinguish the passion,

the erudition of your fantasies.


Do not lose your empathy, but fear what leads you to deny yourself the speech,

to hide who you are,

what force you to be submissive

and promises you a terrestrial realm in exchange

for a complacent smile.


If you are a strong woman

be prepared for the battle:

learn to be alone

to sleep in absolute darkness without fear

that no one will throw a rope when the storm roars

and to swim upstream.


Educate yourself in the occupation of thinking and intellect.

Read, make love with yourself, build your castle, surround it with deep trenches but make also wide doors and windows.

It is necessary that you cultivate great friendships

that those who are around you, and love you, know who you are.


Make a circle of bonfires and light up, in the center of your room,

a stove that is always on, where the ardor of your dreams is maintained.

If you are a strong woman, protect yourself with words and trees

and invoke the memory of ancient women.


Let it be known that you are a magnetic field.

Protect yourself, but protect yourself first.

Build yourself. Take care of yourself.

Enjoy your power.

Guard it.

Do it for yourself.

I’m asking you in the name of all of us.


Gioconda Belli, 1948

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