I Stay

By Karen James

I am a black woman stepping into your class
I stay, yet there is no one like me here
I stay, even though my stomach churns
I stay, and breathe into the overwhelm
I stay, roll out my mat
I stay, when you say no colour boundaries and namaste all
I stay, when the poses are beyond my reach
I stay, after hearing take a child’s pose instead
I stay, even though I am ignored
I leave, and will never return