Hollis Wong-Wear
YWCA Inspire Luncheon 2014

is dedicated
to women
who awaken to bruised realities
their future, their livelihood, hanging suspended like a held breath

to women
who at night fold themselves into the creases of car seats
or concrete stoops
under overpasses
on cotton cots in shelters
for women
who tuck themselves under their tongue
in the face of abuse

to women who dare
with audacity
to dream

dreaming is one of the bravest things to do.

the beauty of a dream
is its infinite possibilities
the gravity of a dream
is in its ability to transform
difficulty, hard luck into promise
into mornings that glow when woken to
instead of forever rising against the cold

to earn a dream
takes such strength
such imagination
such hope, belief, deep breathing
tenacity, and faith
that each of us are worth fighting for

for women
who fight
sheltering families
under their arms
for women who know what the bitter tastes like
know they deserve sweetness instead

are often born of storms
but the dreams that take flight
are the ones that find safe harbor
in a loving hand, a determined advocate,
a solid roof, a place to build a home,
to return to each night with security and certainty. 

Dreams take guts, take knowing in your body
what is best for you.
Dreams take architecture. 
Blueprint structuring, smarts, strategy
Long hours and hard hat resolve
To construct what you can hold with your hands
Dreams take collaboration,
take humility, take a whole lot of grit. 
Dreams take a village, every time. 

How fortunate are we
to be together in this village
To connect
To impact, strengthen, realize each other's dreams
To sculpt together, like our futures
are marbled stone, thoughtfully and firmly
chiseling how we will live
and how we will be remembered

Together, our potential
is impossibly wide
The way we show our love
through supporting each other's success
Is our most powerful tool

Are not charity
Or passive niceties
Dreams are vivid living
Pulsing, pressing, refusing to be deferred
Dreams will not be ignored, not be swallowed down
Dreams will resound, from the depths of us into the light.

How remarkable it is
That we can all achieve dream, 
After dream, after unfolding, miraculous dream
As a community, as sisters, as family, 
As cheerleaders and friends, as providers and as grateful recipients

Each of us striving to be our fullest self
All of us igniting a way forward. 

This is dedicated to the women who have
And continue to dream, fiercely

What a gift to join hands
And know we are capable
Of anything we set our hearts to.