Redacted (An Experiment)

Europeana via Unsplash

An Audio Poem

They tell me, erasing one’s
bloodline is not something
they can do, however, I’m
censored and erased without permission
and I wonder,

“Is it what I’m saying or how
I’m saying it?”

And I sit and watch the people
of the world gather amongst
themselves to finally show us
their vocal sides of life.
I guess being silent came
at a heavy price and not everyone
can carry a cross.

Not everyone’s built for burdens
thrown upon their shoulders at
a moment’s notice.

I’ve found my cross to bear is mine
and mine alone — I carry it knowing
this life is not my last.

Many are learning about Tulsa, Rosewood,
Atlanta, and Wilmington
and they think they know the struggles
of a people who have done nothing but
fight for basic rights to
claim the fight from us.

Yes, we need your voices.
We need you to understand that
this — this being black and fighting
is a thing that has been a thing and
now with new eyes placed upon
fresh faces, millions see what should
have been seen centuries ago.

Removed from history books, our stories
were buried in places where cobwebs
hide and tethered papers have been
forbidden to see the light of day.

You tear down a few statues, remove
racist blips from comedic performances,
change the names of products drenched in hate,
and feel as though this should . . .

Shut. Us. Up.

Oh, ye’ of little faith, we are only
growing stronger and the fight that
will come after this will be one
spoken about years beyond the depth
and breadth of the color of one’s skin.

Now, redact that.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

Matriarch

Micropoetry

Courtesy of Tamara Natalie Madden/Goldilocks

I listen as
Her mind cracks
And disappears into the wind.
Losing her independence
To age —
Eighty-two years young,
Fading in the
Arms of dementia.

How do you tell
The head that she is now
The tail?


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium on December 26, 2017.

If I Were A Flower

red blue and yellow abstract painting
Art by Steve Johnson via Unsplash

Said blue to the flower, “If I were you,
I’d scatter my petals across the nation–giving
everyone a piece of me.”

The flower looked on, bent its stem,
and scolded blue. “But, you are not
me. You are in the sky, of the ocean,
and the feeling of broken hearts.
I am what people pick when
they want to see a smile on
their loved ones’ faces. I am
fresh pine in the midnight hour,
A statement for a dying soul. I am
lilac & jasmine, clover & rose–the
depth of beauty on a toddler’s fingertips.”

blue listened, eager to understand–yearning
to know just why the flower was so special.

“I am God’s explanation for tears
buried in the sand. You could never be
me, not even if you tried endlessly.”

And with that, blue sat alone with its thoughts.
Its heart beat faster and its eyes grew tired.
The sun tilted its head, leaned over blue’s face,
and lit up its life.

“Maybe I can be the sun,” blue thought.

Used

Framed photograph on a table showing a couple embracing
Art by Veronica Baranova via Mixkit.co

The picture of them laid against the wall–away from every other memorable thing in their home.

She gathered his belongings, tossed them in extra-large garbage bags, and slung the pile one by one to the edge of the curb.

Fifteen years of them shuffled around in each bag, her heart broke at the thought of it. But, he had his chance. He simply couldn’t commit. And she . . . well, she was tired of being “ringless.”

An ultimatum was given, “Marry me or leave.”

He walked out the door.