A Poem That Healed ☊
Titles are the hardest things to write,"--
Even more difficult than the poem itself,
So I pretend that the very first line of
Of my poem will begin with my fear, having
To conjure strong words to seduce my
Readers to continue the path of each line-
Break, deciphering syntax and language
Searching between words scattered across
The page only to discover within the end
Of this stanza that the title was already there.
(Inspired by Sarah Wells poem, “The Ladies’ quilting is today,”)
Her legs are spread
like the wings of an eagle.
Back slightly arched; bent
over to catch her rhythm.
A spare pot of water sits
adjacent to the bowl of
boiled cassava as she reaches
for the two small pieces.
She places them in the center under
the mortar and with all her divine
strength, she begins rhythmic pounding,
with a long slender pestle with frayed edges.
The plant softly meshed transforms
into a potato-like substance
and with each pound
her bare hand sprinkles water
over the surface
forming a mold,
until the perfected creation
of fufu is ready to be served.
Protect Our Brown
The skin that I am in has a warrant out for my arrest
Colored coded fill me in with hopes of death-
a life sentence by stray intentional bullets,
my thick lips and firm breast on target.
My demise at the grip of the bluest eyes
my melanin sprinkled DNA melts away, tears that make
my sweet outer shell soggy and dilapidated.
One day I will be remembered by media as the Negro woman
lost at trembling fingers locked on triggers of their own insecurities-
a white not so clean slate.
I live in a lawful land of no laws- but in God we do not trust
in gun powder flesh turns to dust….Hush, silence for Renisha McBride.
Yes silence for Jonathan Ferrell.
More silence for Trayvon Martin.
We need more silence for Oscar Grant.
Please, silence for Darius Simmons.
No longer will I be silent about the ancestral moans that surface from the
belly of the Atlantic ocean’s floor.
Today, I left to go run an errand and returned home five minutes late
unable to greet my children off their bus, I prayed through the rush of fear,
hoping silently that they would stay in place on the patio porch.
I did not want them to panic at no sign of their mother.
History has proven that little brown boys and girls
are amongst the endangered that walk this planet.
When I pulled up to our home, tears betrayed my eyes
and rolled down tense cheeks, as my children came running fast and simply asked,
Mommy, why are you crying? I simply replied- mommy just wanted to protect your
brown…I just wanted to protect
I prayed to the ripe moon
Full grey and white, to grant me
Solitude, a quiet room, and a birth
Absent of modern medicine.
2 am came crashing upon that warm
December 14, 2013 morning—sleep
Slipping through the grasp of my reach.
I tossed from each side like skiing on
Icy slopes. Within blinks I was covered
With cream blankets to heat the cold,
Interrogated about my recent stripes of
Love scars of previous births. You madam,
Were next in line to be written in history.
A trilogy turned Trinity with each wave of
Contraction, I surfed clinching to my
Retractable bed. Holy water sprinkled on
My forehead after each confessional of
Father God and Fuck you. Bullets of pain
Shot down towards the hell of heavy thighs
And when your crown peek-a-booed through
My temple, I whispered these praises, Thank you,
I survived. All I wanted was the menu: a cheeseburger
With pepper jack cheese, chicken broth, a turkey
Sandwich on wheat and ginger ale- Seagram or
Canada Dry. After I ate we rested, you were pinned
Like a proud button of my bravery to my bare chest
In honor of our travail through the sorrow of leaving a safe space--
My womb to now entering a world of unknown—Selah
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