Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Angela's word

A friend posted this on facebook, and I thought it was beautiful. And describes my journey perfectly.

When Angela was very young
Age two or three or so,
Her mother and her father
Taught her never to say NO.
They taught her that she must agree
With everything they said,
And if she didn’t, she was spanked
And sent upstairs to bed.

So Angela grew up to be
A most agreeable child;
She was never angry
And she was never wild;
She always shared, she always cared,
She never picked a fight,
And no matter what her parents said,
She thought that they were right.

Angela the Angel did very well in school
And, as you might imagine, she followed every rule;
Her teachers said she was so well-bred,
So quiet and so good,
But how Angela felt inside, they never understood.

Angela had lots of friends
Who liked her for her smile;
They knew she was the kind of gal
Who’d go the extra mile;
And even when she had a cold
And really needed rest,
When someone asked her if she’d help
She always answered Yes.
When Angela was thirty-three, she was a lawyer’s wife.
She had a home and family, and a nice suburban life.
She had a little girl of four,
And a little boy of nine,
And if someone asked her how she felt
She always answered, “Fine.”

But one cold night near Christmastime
When her family was in bed,
She lay awake as awful thoughts went spinning through
her head;
She didn’t know why, and she didn’t know how,
But she wanted her life to end;
So she begged Whoever put her here
To take her back again.

And then she hear, from deep inside,
A voice that was soft and low;
It only said a single word
And the word it said was … NO.

From that moment on, Angela knew
Exactly what she had to do.
Her life depended on that word,
So this is what her loved ones heard:

NO, I just don’t want to;
NO, I don’t agree;
NO, I don't believe that;
NO, that’s wrong for me;
NO, I wanted something else;
NO, that hurt a lot!
NO, I’m tired, and NO I’m busy,
And NO, I’d rather not!

Well, her family found it shocking,
Her friends reacted with surprise;
But Angela was different, you could see it in her eyes;
For they’ve held no meek submission
Since that night three years ago
When Angela the Angel
Got permission to say NO.

Today Angela’s a person first, then a mother and a wife.
She knows where she begins and ends,
She has a separate life.
She has talents and ambitions,
She has feelings, needs and goals.
She has money in the bank and
An opinion at the polls.

And to her boy and girl she says,
“It’s nice when we agree;
But if you can’t say NO, you’ll never grow
To all you’re meant to be.
Because I know I’m sometimes wrong
And because I love you so,
You’ll always be my angels
Even when you tell me NO.” 

Barbara K. Bassett


  1. Wow, that's an awesome poem Jen! Great words to live by to know it's ok to say NO and to know what's right for us individually. I love it!

  2. Absolutely wonderful! SOOO profound. Thank you for sharing this. I am going to post it as a link on my blog, if alright with you.

    Happy day.

  3. Of course its alright with me! Please do. :)

  4. I really like that poem. I think it teaches an excellent principle. It really is okay to say no and be aware of our own needs.

  5. I'd love to share this too, if it is alright.

    1. It isn't mine - I found it somewhere else, so please share away. (And if anyone ever figures out who wrote it, let me know? I'd like to give credit where credit is due.)

  6. Jen,

    Would you be interested in doing a guest post on my blog? I would love to have you share this poem, and what it has meant to you, in your life. Let me know if you are interested. :-).

  7. If you can email it to me by this weekend, I will run it next week, along with a review of your blog! :-)

    If you write poetry, or "find" other poetry that really speaks to you, I like having guest bloggers. I also have had guest bloggers share essays and art. You can check them out if you are interested, there were a lot of them in June when I had my surgery.

    1. I don't write poetry much... I wrote one poem. It's posted here on my blog. (

      Also, my therapist wrote a poem for his clients doing trauma work that I love. He told me I could share it on my blog. It's posted here. (

      I'll send you the blog post soon.