To Love a Dog is to Grow in Love

Jernee Timid Loadholt in a Poncho. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt


A Tribute Poem

We are both aging
bones creaking, sight deteriorating
finding ourselves slower
than we once were.

I look at the brown globes
for eyes looking back at me
and remember how I felt
the first day I lifted her
to my face, nose full of puppy scent,
she saved me.
 
I crawled outside of myself
and into her heart — 
we’ve managed to keep
each other alive for nearly
thirteen years and as much as
I’d like it to be,
another thirteen will not occur.

My safe harbor, my boss
*my wife, my everything that’s perfect
and whole . . . 
sadness breaks away from
the edges of my spirit
when she lends me kisses
and I feel freer.

I let those professionals within
my organization shoot my
body up with the first dose
of their cure-all and could barely
use my left arm for three days
she knew . . . she understood . . .
she did not expect more from me.

We’re “takin’ it to the streets”
now that the sun’s decided to
shake a leg with us
and the pep in her step
gives false hope for
a decade more of her love.

I am taking what I can get,
I’d be a fool to let go of
this love, even when she’s gone,
she’ll still be here with me.

I have grown in love
because of her and
because of her, I’ll
give this love to
someone, anyone else
who may need it.


*My mom calls Jernee my “wife” at times. She typically says it like so, “You better get on back home before your wife gets mad at you.”


Originally published in The Junction via Medium.

comme je suis

as I am

Me, chilling in Anchorage, Alaska, Summer of 2019, at Alexainie’s place. I was pretty damn happy and it shows.

An Audio Poem

I am aging in a way that brings
peace to my spirit.
It’s something I’ve been struggling
to gain for over a decade
and now, I’m familiar with how
to attain it and even more importantly,
how to keep it.

It is the month of love and everyone
is fumbling over their confessions,
careful not to spill more than
their fair share of beans
and I find myself uninterested in
their daily goings-on.
I am moving through this life
with my feet planted firmly
on the ground and every move I
design before me is planned
and calculated. I am my
own defense.

The hurdles I jumped led me to
this smooth path and although there
were holes in my soles over time,
I wear better shoes.
I am more prepared, more . . .
knowledgeable about what I want
and what I aim to get.

Each year, I think about you
and how it was hard for you
to see me for who I was
and love me for that too.
I now recognize that I was
eager to find fault in the way
I loved because it was too
much for you — it was too
bold for you and I spent
years attempting to cut out
half of the person that
made me happy simply to
satisfy you.

What kind of hell was I living in
that made me believe I was in
heaven?
I would not dare seek your counsel,
opinion, or thoughts on the matter,
you would only make me
wary and even more apprehensive.

I am finding peace in the
swell of the clouds and the
gusty landings of the wind.
I stand in a circle of forgiveness
which includes all versions
of me; past and present.
I tell them you didn’t need me.
I tell them you couldn’t love me.
I tell them we know better now.

I am who I am and to be
loved for that is the only
kind of love I envision.
If anyone interested holds something
different on their tongues,
I . . . We don’t want it.



Originally published in P. S. I Love You via Medium.

2020, I’m Not Sad to See You Go

But I appreciate what you taught me

Dear 2020:

I could start this letter by saying “I’m glad you’re leaving,” “I’ll hold the door open for you,” or “I’ll even grab your bags, walk you to your car, and make sure you get home safely” happily but I’m choosing to let you know even though you have nearly taken me out, I am still here. And many of us can say this.

You tried, you almost succeeded, but we’re powerful enough to deal with you.

Coronavirus COVID-19 is raging with a significant increase every day of those who have contracted the virus. Pharmaceutical companies have introduced rushed vaccines for a thing that constantly mutates and brings about different strains periodically to shoot into faithful believers of being protected against it. Government officials delayed help, knowing human beings were suffering, had been suffering, and were going to continue to suffer, then threw loose dollars for us to catch.

Racism, divisiveness, bigotry, and an overwhelming number of things that paint hatred and insensitivity corrupted you and you allowed them to fester; to dig in deep into the hearts of man, burn their spirits, and press upon their minds. We learned that you harbored endangerment and only waited until now to show us your true colors.

I remained steadfast. I knew my place. I had support. I was not alone. You did not defeat me.

We learned that you harbored endangerment and only waited until now to show us your true colors.

2020, were you lingering in the air waiting for the perfect moment to swoop down on us and attack at will? If I were to question you professionally, would you answer truthfully about your hand in what has been the demise of thousands upon thousands? I would bet you will not confess openly and if you did — you’d lie through your teeth like a certain someone still trying to hold on to a presidency that is quickly flashing by before his eyes and continues to throw temper tantrums because his way is not the way.

You came with everything you had. You thundered into our lives in the beginning with hopeful appearances and a grandeur we had not seen before, and lo and behold — you rocked us by stabbing us in the back. There are many of us who are fighting. There are many of us who are conquerors. There are many of us who will ready a proper shoe and place a swift kick upon your ass sooner than later to get you out of the door.

We want you gone.

I remained steadfast. I knew my place. I had support. I was not alone. You did not defeat me.

Although you came for us with fire in your clutch, we are persevering. We are standing strong. You have taught me I have far more fight in me than I believed I did. You opened my eyes to a vast number of people who will take care of others and give their last to a fellow human being in need. You showed me that even when the depth of the belly of the beast is staring us straight into our eyes, we can overcome, we can stand firm, we can press forward.

You aimed to kill at will and you have succeeded — we have lost so many all around the world with thousands dying each day by your hand, however; you have not bested us. I have learned, am learning your weakness lies in the beauty togetherness can bring — the strength of a people immovable even as they fear what will be next.

2020, you came . . . You rattled us. You shook us from within ourselves. But you have not won.

We won’t let you.


Originally published in CRY Magazine via Medium.

She Could Never Be My Superhero

A Free Verse Poem

I’d been laying my problems at her feet
only upon her request and even then,
I’d been careful — didn’t reveal too much,
didn’t let her tap-dance her way into 
the depths of me. 
I know what to say and when and how to 
say it in order to fill the mind with
the info it needs to keep it 
yearning for more.

A tablespoon here, a teaspoon there, 
she feasted on parts of me no one else
could ever fetch and since she was willing
to swim in the deep end, I showed her what
those waters had in them.
You find out how sincere a person is
when you shed some skin in their presence.
You learn just how devoted
they are when shit hits the fan.

Not everyone is built to carry your
burdens — not everyone is made to 
honor your suffering. 
You are your own warrior and your
battles are yours and yours alone.
The war created for you is meant for
you to fight, so when someone says
they can go to war for you, make sure
they have enough ammunition.

The back and forth of growing into
a new age in life can be exhausting.
40 isn’t 30 and 30 wasn’t 20, and
you find yourself looking back on those
times trying to pull any memories 
catered to your current hell, 
but none of them seem quite as
close to your now.

So, what can you do when that
friend still wants the deepest parts
of you even when you’ve tried
your best to be careful?
You step back, take a bigger view of
your surroundings, then make sure
your perception of you doesn’t 
overshadow what they truly see.

Then, you tell them, “I’m not looking
for anyone to save me. I’m looking
for someone to stand by me when
I need them, Nothing more. Nothing less.”

And if they stick around — if they still
want to stick around after that, a superhero
you do not have — you have love . . . 
the kind of love that lends itself
in the midst of broken hearts and
shattered dreams, and a botched election,
and a big ass baby’d man who’d cry if
his way isn’t the only way . . .

What you have is someone you
can depend on — someone loyal enough
to keep spoonfeeding bits
of you to.


Originally published in Intimately Intricate via Medium.

Mister Brown Goes Insane

Mister Brown Goes Insane

An Experiment

Photo by Pixabay via Pexels

An Audio Poem

Mister Brown lives on the corners of
Trident Avenue & 4th Street.
His rickety walk matches the
pace of a snail.
Reverend Burnham says he can’t
be trusted with the church’s
money anymore.
Something about embezzlement
and buying dope.

I stand on the corner, waiting for
The Man to pick me up for work,
and he glides down his steps
like a ghost on a mission.
I keep my wallet close to me.
He waves, I smile.
I don’t say a word to him,
but I watch him as he tries
to figure out how to get
into his car.
The door swings open,
he pushes his disobedient
body inside — closes it.

I notice the gas cap hasn’t
been closed.
I flag him down, but he’s
up the street quicker than my
hands can flail.
He hits a tree.
Cops come.
Reverend Burnham too.
Said he fell asleep at
the wheel.

Funny, I think.
He looked well-rested
to me.


Originally published in P. S. I Love You via Medium.