Malala Fund shares Flose’s story and poem “March on Sister” on Assembly

During her senior year at Syracuse University, Flose Boursiquot received a request from a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority asking that she write a poem for a women’s empowerment event. Flose, who sometimes looks to other people’s experiences for inspiration, channeled Pakistani activism, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and gun-shot wound survivor, Malala Yousafzai.

Malala’s experience fighting for the education of girls gave rise to “March on Sister,” a poem found in Flose’s first collection of poetry, Close Your Eyes, Now Breathe.

March on Sister Pg.1

When Flose wrote “March on Sister” about five years ago, she had no idea Malala would ever read the piece nor did she think she’d have the opportunity to be featured on the Assembly platform which gives voice to amazing girls and women who going against the grain for greater good.

Malala Fund - Flose reciting March on Sister
Read the Malala Fund’s coverage & watch Flose’s performance

“I’m most proud of saying no to fear really. In saying no to fear and just doing the things that I want to do, so much positive comes to fruition,” Flose tells Tess Thomas, the editor of Assembly.

Flose is thrilled to be associated with Malala because of her own personal passion for doing good and personal belief that educating girls brings humanity closer to justice.

Read the Flose’s full profile and watch Flose recite her powerful poem on Assembly: https://assembly.malala.org/stories/let-it-flose

Flose - Assembly Platform

 

Flose speaks at Sun-Sentinel Sponsored THRIVE event

Haitian-born poet, public speaker, and spoken-word artist Flose Boursiquot spoke at the Sun-Sentinel newspaper’s THRIVE event on Saturday, August 4th. The event took place at the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale ahead of THRIVE’s wellness retreat scheduled to take place in October with a special appearance from Keynote Speakers, Bill & Giuliana Rancic.

Flose read select poems from both of her collections, Close Your Eyes, Now Breathe (2017) + loudmouth (2018). Among audience favorites, was a piece titled Mama’s Hands which detailed the relationship Flose has with her mother and the unique relationship both women have with hair.

Before sharing a piece written after Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist whose organization Flose is partnering with this fall, Flose took a survey of the room. “Raise your hand if you know who Malala is,” she asked the audience. Though most hands went up, there were a few who did not. Flose took the opportunity to detail Malala’s efforts in Pakistan before the Taliban shot her at age 15 and explained to the audience why the 21-year old Nobel Peace Prize winner is her role model. She then went on to perform March On Sister with gripping emotion.

To close out, Flose shared an empowering piece about uplifting women titled I am “Giant Woman.” from loudmouth, her second collection.

Flose credits her success to saying no to fear more than two years ago and making the decision to finally self-publish her first collection; something she wanted to do for more than five years.

Keep up with Flose through her bookings page and purchase her work on Amazon, at The Book Cellar in Lake Worth, Poetic Justice Books & Arts in Port St. Lucie, and in select Barnes & Noble stores.

Talkative

Talkative (loudmouth is now on Amazon)

I talk so much that I’m afraid
all of my poems will flow out of me
I’ll run quickly, chasing them
until i become nothingness

onlookers will find me
gazing corner to corner
gasping for air — damn, they’ll think,
girl must-a lost all her poems.

The #BookCellar #February 17th 6pm #LakeWorth

KM-2097
Kayla M Mendez for photo needs: http://kaylamendez.co

Embrace in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine

Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 9.55.43 PM

Embrace

by Flose Boursiquot

Mwen pa renmen jan li ap pede gade mwen.

Mama never bothers to ask the young girl why she looks at her so much. All she knows is that those wondering brown eyes against that dark skin make her uncomfortable. It’s not the first time her family has taken in a restavek. Her parents are most often who families come to when their children become a burden. In her 10 years of life she’s seen six children trot through the front gate with a bundled plastic bag extending from their bellies. The conversations are always the same.

Madame Bougiyon, mwen pa ka pran swen l ankò.

Twelve years ago, when Madame Bougiyon turned over in bed restlessly, her husband knew something was plaguing. It had been almost five months since they’d stop trying to have a baby; ten years since they’d started.

Cheri, kisa w genyen?

He nudged closer to her, embracing her round body.

An nou adopte yon timoun.
 
She had been rehearsing an elegant line to bring her husband across the finish line to adoption, but at this late hour, negotiation felt forced.

Si se sa ki ap fè kè ou kontan.

Many in the neighborhood often laugh at Monsieur Bougiyon. It seems he always lets his wife have her way. Tonight he felt her breath release upon agreeing to adopt a child. From the time he was a young man, Monsieur Bougiyon had a different understanding of love than the young men who ran through his front yard.

Madame Bougiyon is not an easy woman to love, she wasn’t the first day they met at the lunch counter. Monsieur Bougiyon had just finished his morning shift at the hospital. It was around noon. In those days he was training as a nurse and only worked the first few hours after dawn. Madame Bougiyon worked as a teacher at the all girls school across from Papa Gil’s, the most popular lunch counter in all of La Vallee, Jacmel.

Anvan yè ti bòl diri sa te senk dola. Kounye a li sèt dolla. Sa pa moral, Filip.
 
Monsieur Bougiyon looked around the room, wondered if he should walk the five miles home and eat there, but he decided to do something no man had ever mustered the courage to try.

See Madame Bougiyon was quite a beauty. By far the best dressed of the new teachers at the school. Her breasts, like her attitude, stood firm, like melons underneath her carefully ironed dress suits. Although it was only her fourth year teaching, her students always scored the highest. Nuns would peek into her classroom with their wandering gaze. It is said they whispered that Madame Bougiyon was what they prayed for in silence. Others say, the devil sent her to play a sick joke on the catholic church. After-all, she was not a docile woman. Rumor has it that she once told the head priest to stick his cross in a place where the Holy Trinity does not belong. Oh no, don’t get the wrong impression. Madame Bougiyon is quite the religious woman; she’s first to get to church on Sunday and the most beautiful voice in the choir.

Standing in the doorway, Monsieur Bougiyon thought to do something no man had ever mustered the courage to try.

Filip, madmwazèl la gen yon rezon. Anvan yè m peye senk dola pou ti bòl an diri sa.
 
Madame Bougiyon stopped. Her eyebrows moved further apart and her fierce red lips stopped their wrinkle. Filip looked around his father’s restaurant in disbelief. Well, yes of course, the price for a bowl of cooked rice was merely five dollars yesterday. He upped the price, he’s allowed to do that, it’s his father’s restaurant. But see, Filip was not the kind of man who got so riled up on a Monday. He smiled at the woman in the gray dress suit and gave his soccer buddy a menacing look — what some friends will do for ass. His menaced look soon smirked, he wondered if Monsieur Bougiyon knew better than to seduce Madame Bougiyon. No man had ever mustered the courage to try.

Madame Bougiyon was still stopped. Monsieur Bougiyon offered to buy her lunch, she nodded, but she was still stopped. No man had stood up for her before, she simply never needed it. As a young girl, she was known to drag young boys from the waterfall and back to their mother’s wombs for no-good behavior. Rumor has it that she came out of her mother already a sturdy woman. She just sort of crawled her way out of the woman then scolded her father for not cutting the umbilical chord properly.

Monsieur Bougiyon fell in love with her in that way. She never hid any part of herself. Madame Bougiyon simply couldn’t hide much of who she was. Monsieur Bougiyon fell in love with her in that way. And as the story tells it, she fell in love with him too. He was the only one who could ever settle her down until she got soft enough to understand. Outsiders struggled to see her, but he got her soft enough to understand.

That night, when they agreed to adopt, she cried in his arms. Legend tells it that Madame Bougiyon did not cry when she was born. But that night she cried in her husband’s arms. The tears were of joy. Many thought she was too hard to be a mother, but not her Filip.

A flower never grows in hard soil, the neighborhood women would whisper. A flower never grows in hard soil, her doctor thought after the seventh miscarriage. A flower never grows in hard soil, Madame Bougiyon was beginning to think.

My wife makes nourishing soil, Monsieur Bougiyon knew. So that night he agreed to take in other people’s children.

The next morning, with half of his stethoscope hanging from each side of his neck, he kissed her goodbye while she finished her espageti ak aransol. Madame Bougiyon started to eat it for breakfast every morning after her second miscarriage.

Ti bebe bezwen yon manman ki fò, cheri, mange sa pou mwen.

Madame Bougiyon, Monsieur Bougiyon’s mother, patted Madame Bougiyon’s forehead. Her dotted white hand caressed the woman’s brown forehead. Madame Bougiyon was too weak to feed herself. This miscarriage had taken so much out of her. The baby had become so much of a baby that the doctor had her push it out. That thought kept her awake at night.

But the baby had become so much of a baby that I bought a crib.

But the baby had become so much of a baby that I sang sweet songs to it.

But that baby had become so much of a baby that I made it a jumper for its first night home.
 
Cheri, pa kriye. Oh, cheri, pa kriye.
 
Madame Bougiyon moved closer to Madame Bougiyon and held her close. She never had a daughter. Four sons is what she had. Two of her babies miscarried so she might have had a daughter, but she never had a daughter.

Cheri, pa kriye. Oh, cheri, pa kriye.
 
Madame Bougiyon held her daughter-in-law with softness. Madame Bougiyon was too hard for her to love when Monsieur Bougiyon brought her and Monsieur Bougiyon to the madmwazèl’s family home up where red earth covers everything. She was too hard to love for many years. Monsieur Bougiyon once heard his parents whispering about how the woman before Madame Bougiyon should have been their daughter. She was too hard to love for many years. Then one day the wise roots realized that hard soil is best for keeping weeds away.

Cheri, pa kriye. Oh, cheri, pa kriye.

Two years shy of Madame Bougiyon asking her husband to take in other people’s children, she became pregnant. It is true they were not trying this time. It is also true that she often became pregnant. There were no celebrations. It is said that Madame Bougiyon simply cried when she found out. It is said she was known to be the woman with the most miscarriages in La Vallee, Jacmel.

This one carried itself the whole way. Madame Bougiyon would not let Monsieur Bougiyon convince her to go see Ti Jean, the medicine man. This one carried itself the whole way.

It came out covered in blood and howling at the moon. Monsieur Bougiyon knew it would come with a vagina, but Madame Bougiyon refused to name it. This went on for three months. Madame Bougiyon, the child’s grandmother, would walk the eight miles to see it everyday. When it was time to leave she would look at Madame Bougiyon in despair and ask her to name her grandchild.

Bay ti bebe a yon non, cheri. Ba li yon non.
 
Madame Bougiyon had grown to love the aging root, but she shook her head in disagreement. She also hadn’t gone to church since the child was born. It is said that the church lost members in those three months, some even became protestants. What is a catholic church without beautiful singing and what is a choir without its leader. The nuns at the all girls school would run across the yard in a frenzy. The head priest of all the head priests was on his way in a couple of weeks and their best was nowhere in sight.

Monsieur Bougiyon had a different idea about these things, but he let Madame Bougiyon be. Then one morning with the child suckling on her breast she said, Mama.
 
Mama.

Monsieur Bougiyon repeated the name until it became Mama. It was always meant to be a Mama he thought. Mama.

The first time Madame Bougiyon left the house with Mama in her arms she did so with a firm step. No lougarou dared to come near the child. Not even when Monsieur Bougiyon left medicine and went into politics. Legend has it that the child was born covered in blood and howling at the moon so no lougarou dared to come near what already claimed its place in the universe.

Even with her own, Madame Bougiyon, never stopped taking in other people’s children. She, Monsieur Bougiyon and Mama had plenty, and so she never stopped taking in other people’s children.

Link: http://www.foliateoak.com/flose-boursiquot.html