Doormat (Ode to Fantasia Barrino)

Photo Credit: Taken by Krishauna
(l-r) Fantasia Barrino’s mother, Fantasia’s daughter, Krishauna

I am the doormat

Although I’ve welcomed you into my home

I, in return, am only good enough to remain outside

When life rejects you

I continue to say, “Welcome”

When storms are raging and your path is flooded

I am the one who keeps you safe

When I saw you about to fall

I caught you

Although I welcome you

In return, you step on me

I am the doormat

After being stepped on and rained upon

I am not fit to be seen

You pick me up

Shake me off

And throw me down again

Why won’t you welcome me, as I have welcomed you?

Did you not realize that when you shook the dust off of me,

the dust landed on fertile ground?

Did you not realize that nature’s wonders come from the dust of the earth?

Did you ever dream that those specks of dust would turn into…


               Green pastures

               Man, Woman, and Humankind

If you had not stepped on me, rejected me, thrown me out…

Maybe we could have made it together

Now it’s too late dear

The dirt that was not good enough for you,

Has landed on fertile ground

I am no longer your doormat

Sip on This: Why Fantasia?: Living in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina, just 20 minutes from Fantasia’s hometown of High Point, I felt very connected and proud of her American Idle win. While I was cheering, I watched so many people tearing her down regarding her class status, her teen pregnancy, education and more. Out of these contradictions, this poem was born. Have you had people in your circle who have tried to bring you down when you are trying to soar? How did you use that dirty experience as compost for your garden?

Krishauna Hines-Gaither, Ph.D.

Recorded Workshop: Black Women’s Strategic Voice

This workshop examines workplace structures in terms of power dynamics. Black women are often silenced and made to feel invisible. Black women will gain tangible tools and strategies that guarantee results across institutions.


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