I Can Be Tender by Clara Jack.



I have had to, in recent times 

Sit with myself 

In stillness, quiet and worst of all,

In fleeting moments.

I learned in those sitting moments that –

We bank on strength 

As proof of our longevity 

“I fought for this” 

I would like to remind us that-

 it’s not always been this way 

Once upon a time, we were soft. 

and in those sitting moments, who I am  returns 

This person unfettered by the world 

Is a quiet, soft spirit 

Who smiles at a meme her crush sent to her 

Who keeps flowers in a marvel jug on her table

I don’t want to bring muddy boots unto my rug 

Resilience is so in tune with survival 

But with my precious life, 

I don’t want to survive it. I want to live it 

So after putting on that resilient face for the world

For myself, in my quiet, I’ll remind myself that I can be tender 

I should be tender. 


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Pencilmarks and Scribbles Magazine was founded in 2017 by Clara Jack to be a home for African writers, asking them to come as they are and giving them room for growth. The publication aims to give back to the Nigerian Literary scene for the things it has given us.