The Life I Gave Her

The Struggle Is Worth It

Sash Margrie Hunt via Unsplash

What does this picture say? I have an imagination that would bring itself back to life if it died, so instantly, I drum up a story. Who is this woman? What is her story? What is her struggle? She stands, book in hand, waiting for the train. What’s her background? I study her. I plant my eyes on an amazing creature and I think . . .

“What type of life can I create for her?”

She’s a graduate student, studying Socioeconomics with an emphasis on Urban Culture and the effects of gentrification on middle-aged people of color. She is working on her thesis and has fifteen pages of solid, stone-cold research that she can verbally back up in her sleep.

She’s fearless, the eldest of four children, and a full-time teller at the bank Uptown. She juggles school, work, and time-spent keeping her cousins out of the morgue. She does not complain. She struggles silently.

The promotion to financial advisor has been on and off the table for the last three years. She aims for it, going the extra mile: staying longer at work and arriving earlier than everyone else.

She does not complain. She struggles silently.

Her boss sees her but doesn’t see her. She stands out, but not in the way the company needs her to. She speaks four languages and can cuss him out in three of them. He wouldn’t know a thing. The offer on the table today: $16.25 per hour, 40 hours per week. A seventy-five cent increase.

He tells her, “It’s the best we can do.” She calls bullshit but with class. She knows Taylor, her window-mate, received a $1.05 increase and she trained her. The chick’s been clucking about it loud enough for the entire breakroom to hear. They don’t seem to care about her constant avoidance of company policies. Taylor’s untouchable. And since Taylor’s untouchable, she has to be ten times better at her job to receive less.

The chick’s been clucking about it loud enough for the entire breakroom to hear.

There is no one. She hasn’t been on a date in nearly four years. There’s never any time. Mark, her ex-boyfriend, calls regularly, says he’s “just checking in.” She entertains his advances for moments at a time weekly but he knows their ship sailed a long time ago.

There is no room for love. There is only time for work, school, writing her thesis, fighting for her rightful positions in life and society, and sleep. Everything else is on the back burner. Everything else will have to wait.

The guy standing next to her offers her the only seat left on the train after they enter. In exchange, he adds, for her number. She sighs, discontented with the constant barter and trade most men often dole out on a daily basis. She’s had a rough day. He doesn’t know it. He doesn’t care. His aim is to conquer, build up his ego, and slowly deflate hers. She declines.

She stands and reads the last chapter in her book on how to increase a company’s authorized share capital. She highlights key aspects and mentally preps a presentation. Tomorrow at work, she will turn in her resignation.

The guy standing next to her, offers her the only seat left on the train after they enter. In exchange, he adds, for her number.

Armed with a wealth of knowledge, ten years in the banking industry, and being multilingual, she remembers the job offer her classmate shared with her one week ago: Entry Level International Accountant for the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation (IFRS Foundation).

She will leave her life to gain a life. She has her wings.

Starting now — It’s time to fly


Originally published as a metered paywall piece via Medium. I have included the “friend link” as it’s a paid piece via Medium, thus anyone who clicks on that link above can read for free.

It Gets Better: The Uplifting

A Haibun

Double Trouble: Nala and Jernee|Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

It was a warm summer’s day. The kind that begs you to stay inside, read a book, and sip iced-sweet tea. The girls had their morning walks and I basked in the silence that surrounded my home. Two beings who stole my heart slumbered throughout the afternoon. Their sleepy eyes showing nothing more than slits of white were closed off to my world. I flipped through the pages of my book, made notes in the margins, and listened to their breathing. Not only had I been serenaded by an endless drone of patterned breaths, but I was lulled too. In the comfort of a happy space, we lifted each other up without trying.

sweet, innocent girls
asleep in summer’s bright light
strong breaths like music


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

your poem (an experiment)

MUSICAL SELECTION: KINDRED THE FAMILY SOUL|WHERE WOULD I BE

Jyn Erso|Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

I stood there, tilted my head at Jyn Erso
she’s as self-sufficient as the clouds — a sure thing.
I look at the army standing around her
and think to myself, “How do her confessions live?
Is she ever fearful of sharing them?”

you cut your hair, endless curls now
bounce freely, centered at the top of
a polished crown and I long to touch
them just to see if they’re real.
but, I am not supposed to say this.
so, I whisper it to Jyn and watch
the stoic look on her face create a path
for me, that leads to the screen
showing a pair of numbers,
neither of them mine.

I shared your photo with my Mom —
“She cut her hair, look at her, Mom.”
she quips a bit about the flawlessness of
your cheeks and I smile.
“She’s still such a pretty girl.”
I agree.

we can hold past hurt, pain, and ages of
uselessness in the coils of our hair —
festering old trains, hooting for the next stop.
if we aren’t careful, we’ll carry the roots
of that ancient life into the next phase
of our growth.

I watch and wonder at you —
have you severed the harmful pieces and
sheltered the others that needed
a heart to live?

I know you have.
you are good to your heart.
I stare a moment longer at Jyn,
tilt my head to the other side,
and watch my number pop
up on the screen.

I was there long
enough to appreciate a poem
birthed from the air around
an army of fantasies and impossibilities.

I stood there long
enough for your
poem
to say
“Hello.”


Originally published on Medium.

The Journey Back To Mental Wellness

Citronella|Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Part VI: Move In Your Own Direction And At Your Own Pace|Lune, 6 Parts

pause, take a moment
you want this
you’ve always known it

use caution, be safe
you should try
not everyone loves

not everyone feels
so be you
first — and no one else

learn to love nature
yes, love it
not just take pictures

get caught up in it
to release
everything at once

guard yourself, be true
you know you
better than we do


*Author’s Note: This is the final installment as far as sharing my journey in therapy here on Medium. My focus will simply be on gaining as much as I can from it and journaling at home, instead. Thank you to all of you for the support, kind words, sensible reminders, and for reading. Peace.


The Journey Thus Far: Parts I-V