Her way by Michele Witthaus

(a poem for Ella Fitzgerald)
 
Her voice is a way out
of the ghetto, the gutter,
the likely fate of a poor black girl
in New York City.
 
Her voice is a way in
to the sounds she’s already formed in her head,
the rhythms that beat, beat, beat in her heart.
 
Her voice is a way past
the doormen who would block her path,
questioning her right to own the night.
 
Her voice is a way through
pain and loss and despair,
connecting her to the pulse of life.
 
Her voice is her way
of speaking to the world
depths of meaning beyond words.
 
Her voice is her way.

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Michele comes to poetry from a journalistic background. Her first short collection, ‘From a Sheltered Place’, was published in August 2020 by Wild Pressed Books. She also has poems in a variety of anthologies and other publications. She is a member of Leicester Writers’ Club and is the 2020 winner of both the Club’s Ena Young Award for Poetry and the Chris D’Lacy Endeavour Award.

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