National Poetry Month: Day 24. “Superhero” by Kelly Norman Ellis



Lasyrenn’s hair like
a rope
my locks are the new golden lasso,
I am Oya rocking hurricanes.
I am the protector of your dead
my mother is Marie Laveau
my daddy Stagolee
I am the earth shaker
protector of women
do u know me?
I’m your mother
say my name
I am the squatting
not a white girl in tights but
the real one-breasted amazon
riding a black unicorn
protector of all the scribbling women
in attics
the one who comes when you call
like Eartha’s Catwoman
flirt, tease, you want me
I don’t have time
I’m into ruining shit
liberator of
defender of drag queens, of the butch and the femme
I will come when you whisper
in the dark
when you cry
when you scream like your mother did
I will bring you satisfaction
on a platter
I live in the Chi
no batmobile
I ride the City of New Orleans
like a bullet between my legs
I am protector of
and 28 days of the moon
of bruised
plum women
the lynched
the raped.
on my cape is an S
I am the blood
you see when you peel
back skin, the burst of life
in the back of the throat
the forbidden fruit.
my uncle was Sango
so I am protector
of righteous men.
turn down your volume
I am protector of Black Presidents
of translucent truth.
Steel toe boots, gold tooth
locks hot to the touch
you know me
I am

– Kelly Norman Ellis


Kelly Norman Ellis is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Chicago State University. She is also the associate director of the MFA in Creative Writing program as CSU. She is a poet and a recipient of a Kentucky Foundation for Women writer’s grant and is a Cave Canem fellow and founding member of the Affrilachian Poets. Her first collection of poetry, Tougaloo Blues, was published by Third World Press in 2003 and she is co-editor of Spaces Between Us: Poetry, Prose, and Art on AIDS/HIV, to be published 2010 (Third World Press) She lives on Chicago’s South Side.

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →