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A Woman Should ...

Is this poem a yardstick that every woman should consider?

I received a poem from a good friend last week. In reality she is like my second sister. I believe the poem is called A Woman Should Have ...

Apparently it was written by Maya Angelou but research shows that it is the work of Pamela Redmond Satran. The poem lists a range of things that she who calls herself WOMAN should have. Here goes ...


Enough money within her control to move out

And rent a place of her own

even if she never wants to

or needs to.

Something perfect to wear if the employer

or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour.

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE … A youth she’s content to leave behind. A past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to retelling it in her old age.

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE  A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra. One friend who always makes her laugh, And one who lets her cry…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …. A good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family. Eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, And a recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honoured. A feeling of control over her destiny.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… How to fall in love without losing herself. How to quit a job, Break up with a lover,  and confront a friend without  ruining the friendship When to try harder. And when to walk away.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… That she can’t change the length of her calves, The width of her hips, or the nature of her parents.. That her childhood may not have been perfect, But it’s over.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… What she would and wouldn’t do for love or more. How to live alone, Even if she doesn’t like it.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… Whom she can trust, Whom she can’t, And why she shouldn’t take it personally…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… Where to go. Be it to her best friend’s kitchen table, Or a charming inn in the woods, When her soul needs soothing.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… What she can and can’t accomplish in a day. A month. And a year. 

I was struck by the clarity and simplicity of the poem. It described the need for she who is woman to always value herself and assign honour and dignity to herself in a way that was simple yet specific. There was strong encouragement for women to assign honour and dignity to ourselves through simple habits and boundaries.

What I also loved about this poem was the call for balance in how we view ourselves and how we live. The poem makes it clear that it is beautiful to glory in our feminine energy and our masculine energy. It celebrates the idea that the greatest relationship we will ever have is the one we have with ourselves! It emphasises the point that the relationship we have with ourselves should be treated with respect and love and also supported with clear accountability and responsibility. From my perspective, this poem pushes forward the importance of habits that support self-care, self-love and well being. The poem reminds us that we need to recognise and remember our value and live our lives with grace, courage and good sense.

So ladies, HOW MANY OF THESE SHOULD HAVES DO YOU HAVE? Where do you need to put in work?

Hope this is a point of useful reflection this week !

In Love - Always


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