I write because I breathe.

I write because I grieve.

I write because “they” said I did not need an education. I write because I have something important to say – to them, to me, to anyone who is the slightest bit like me.

I write because it is 2:08 a.m. and there is nothing better I could do with the next ten minutes.

I write at night to avoid the omnipresent boogieman waiting to violate my dreams because I have not used my words to stop him, yet.

I write because my heart is broken.

I write because I am a mother of sons who need to hear a strong woman’s voice.

I write because it is the only tool I have left in the box.

I write because if I say it right maybe the next girl will get it right.

I write because it is a shelter from the storm.

I write because sticks and stones broke my bones, but it was words that ultimately crushed me, so I know they have great power.

I write because it is the only honest thing I have ever done with my life.
I stop writing because it is now 2:18 a.m.

BIO:   Laurie Mellas-Ramirez is retired (disabled), after devoting 20 years to higher education as a writer/editor/activist. She authored hundreds of articles for local, national and international publications. She served as president of Albuquerque Press Women and scholarship chair for New Mexico Press Women. She is a recipient of numerous awards for writing and community organizing. Laurie resides in Albuquerque’s north valley, but left her heart in Minneapolis, her beloved hometown.