No is the Firmest Thing

prose on standing firm

Mar 2, 2023

for Chassidy

Brown rectangular pieces of paper sit askance in a pile in the center with the top one reading the word, “no” in black inked calligraphy. Surrounding the pieces of paper are various art and office materials sitting atop a gray marbled countertop.
Photo by cottonbro studio from Pexels

What is the firmest thing?

Is it concrete?

Concrete is porous allowing liquids and gases entry into its solid form.

Is it brick?

Brick is porous as well as durable.

Is it steel?

Steel corrodes when exposed to Earth’s atmosphere degrading, rusting, and eroding over time.

Is it earth?

Soil, rock, and sand break down into tiny granules. Together they are firm but air and water erode them.

Is it the word, “no?”

When we stand resolute in our response of “no,” then the only thing that changes the firmness is doubt.

Doubt is naturally occurring. When it enters our conscious and challenges our firm response of “no” let us morph that doubt into a cool air of humility that graces the surface but does not penetrate our bounds.




Librarian and Information Specialist by day. Queer writer of poetry, sensuality, personal experience, and health by night. Instagram @tolbert_on_medium #BLM✊🏿