Thanksgiving Eve: A Poem

my blood can’t handle any more apologies, insistence on the right to celebrate genocide…

Thanksgiving Eve: A Poem

A poem by the lovely Jennifer Patino. Let it sink in. Allow it to marinate for a moment in your bones. However you spend this day, I hope you do it safely and with more awareness than you should probably have.

Please go to the original poem to “like” and “comment.” Her words deserve that. Peace and blessings.

Getting to Know Me (An Audio Poem)

Community art: Different Women. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

2019 MTV Awards Musical Performance by Missy Elliott

Getting to Know Me

An Audio Poem

My kid sister probes me
for information. She needs to
know more about me.
Our upbringing was an odd one.
I’m more of a mother-figure to her
than a big sister; with 19 years
separating us, she “ma’ams” me
rather than “Ooh, girl” or 
“Child, pleases” me and it just seems weird.

She urges me to open up, to share,
but I’m not really the type to complain
more than I need to or
give more of me than I should.
I’ve learned who to shed skin
with and who not to and this isn’t
to say that my sister isn’t to
be trusted, no, that’s not it.
I’m just . . . careful now.

I want to vent sometimes to her,
I want her to hear me when I’m
in distress, yet there’s this overwhelming
feeling to protect her too
even if it’s from me.
She assures me she’s old
enough to digest what I
dole out but I’m hesitant.

I’ve lived a far different life
and my demons tend to follow
me along my sacred paths and
my sister is still growing,
still learning. I don’t want her
to know the me that drives
people away. I’m still working
on that me.
I need her around.

I’d hate for her to be one more
person I find myself chasing
after; another heart to grip.
People want you to strip
bare, stand naked before them,
but many of them aren’t ready
for the curves and folds and
two-toned skin. They just want
to see more of you even if
more of you isn’t beautiful.

It’s one more thing they can
hang over your head, dangle like
a dagger, cut you to the quick.
I’m trying. I swear, I am.
I ask her to be patient with me,
to understand — I have a way
and my way is comforting.
I can’t be rushed.

She understands.
Thank God in heaven.
She understands.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

30 Things My Dog Probably Says About Me Behind My Back

That is, if she could talk.


Jernee: aka, The Boss; aka, J-Nasty; aka, Jern-Jern; aka The Princess; aka, The Little Monster, etc. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Pet owners: I’m pretty sure you have your very own thirty things and we’d probably swap stories and laugh hysterically about the ways of our non-human friends/family. Feel free to share a few in the comments if you want to.

  1. Human . . . I expect dinner promptly at 5:30 pm, there should be no deviation from this plan.
  2. That place that you go to every day in the morning and come back much later in the day, what shall I call it?
  3. While you were gone, I ate the crumbs on the floor you thought you brushed “off” the counter and into the cleaning cloth.
  4. Remember that one time you asked me if I liked the new grain-free food you bought me?! Do you recall my reaction, how I dove into the bowl as if I’d not eaten before? Well, I faked it.
  5. There’s this thing that rings loudly while you’re away. How can we make that not happen?
  6. Every time Nana visits, she sits in my favorite spot on the couch. I don’t like that.
  7. Why does she have to visit us anyway? Don’t you visit her enough now?
  8. I think you should warn me about bath-time, preferably a week in advance. I need time to evade this entire process.
  9. I’m not religious. You know that, right? God or mercy or hallelujah should never be in our discussions. I’m just sayin’.
  10. What’s this thing about “voting” I keep hearing on the radio? Is this something you’re going to do?
  11. If you are, will they pay you for it? I need more treats. Prioritize. Monetize this vote thing. Treats are important.
  12. Okay. You’ve seen Shrek 378 times already. That’s enough.
  13. The same goes for Finding Nemo.
  14. Auntie hasn’t been here in a while, neither has Nala. Did I do something? Did YOU do something? It’s always you. Yes, let’s go with that. Did you do something, human?
  15. You like to tell me not to drool on the couch, but please recognize how that’s not working out for you. Do I tell you not to drool on your pillows?
  16. Crushed ice is my favorite snack. More crushed ice, please.
  17. It’s been a while since we’ve had a daddy or another mommy around. What’s the holdup, human?
  18. I mean, I’m trying to gather all the attention I can. Are you keeping this from happening?
  19. The Vet . . . That’s one place I’d like not to go to anymore.
  20. If there’s any way we can make that happen, I’ll be happy about it. Tell them I’m good — we shouldn’t have to pay for pre and post-excellence. Let’s face it, I’m both. Save your money.
  21. Think of the treats.
  22. When you say things to me and you think I don’t understand what you’re saying, I’ve news for you, I do. I’m just ignoring you.
  23. Do we have new neighbors? I hear strange noises while you’re away.
  24. What’s with the burning of all the candles? And the sage?
  25. It’s been 5 minutes since you rubbed my belly or scratched behind my ears. Let’s change that.
  26. I’m not eating my food because I noticed yours smells much better.
  27. Yes, that’s right . . . Pick up my poop! Good human.
  28. No, I don’t like this taking pictures of me all the time thing. Stop it.
  29. When you take my collar off, it’s like you’re removing a piece of me. My identity shifts. How’d you like to have your identity shifted?
  30. NO, I WILL NOT STOP BARKING AT THE NEIGHBOR’S DOG! I’M PROTECTING US!

Bonus: I really do love you. That, I’m not faking.


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

Celebrating New Life During COVID-19

Thanks to the digital world, it isn’t that hard.

Photo by Gift Habeshaw via Unsplash

During this season of Coronavirus, COVID-19, my father’s side of the family has two new members. Two of my first cousins have welcomed baby girls within nine months of each other. The first was born in January of this year and the second was born during this month, October. For my baby cousin born this past January, I had planned to visit my hometown of Savannah, Georgia in mid-March, but that is when this global pandemic showed us what it could do and the first round of restrictions was put in place not too long after.

I am fond of new life. I am a fan of witnessing the births of babies and showering them with trinkets and necessities upon their arrival. Being that I am five hours away from my hometown, traveling home was always a one to two times per year investment, however, those tables have turned drastically. I have not or will probably not be home for the foreseeable future which cuts me out of witnessing the growth of these two bundles of joy unless . . . it’s through digital devices and photographs.

I am blessed to be able to watch various stages of each take form by way of digital media or hear about their constant shifts in life through the voices of their parents. Had this not been a resource to use, I would be completely in the dark. And I don’t think I’d like that at all.

As much as I appreciate the gift of new life, giving birth during a global pandemic–must be five times more stressful than without one. I have so many questions for women who are pregnant or those new to motherhood. How did you manage to stay safe? What additional precautions are you taking/have you taken? What will you do to ensure your newborn doesn’t contract the Coronavirus, COVID-19? Will you allow any family to visit and if so, whom?

Rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection in neonates do not appear to be affected by mode of delivery, method of infant feeding, or contact with a mother with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. All neonates born to mothers with suspected or confirmed infection should be considered as having suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection when test results are not available.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 3, 2020.

Hospitals and outpatient facilities in most states test their patients prior to any invasive procedures or surgeries, so it’s safe to assume that any woman going into labor has been tested prior to delivery and will be tested again before leaving the hospital. All precautions are in place for both baby and new mom, but how can we be sure?


You can read the rest of the article at Thrive Global, here. If you like the article, please recommend it by clicking on the little heart at the bottom of the post. Thank you for reading.

If I Loved You, I Still Do


And I always will

Photo by Nick Fewings via Unsplash

We have grown apart for a reason or reasons. We know that reason or reasons. Perhaps we’d always known them. Yet we tucked them deep within ourselves and buried them as lies. Our little truths were showing their heads, flashing beady eyes — devils from the dawn. We wanted to escape the crumble, denied the fall. But it still happened. I have loved what some may consider many and others not enough. And I love them all still, and I always will.

Our meeting had been destined to occur but not fated to last. Their presence in my life had its effects.

I have either become stronger from knowing them or wiser. And in my days of believing I’d become weaker, I have learned we design what we truly want and what we truly need. If I stayed, that was on me and me alone.


In The Beginning

Growing up, I was the eldest of seven children, three of my siblings lived with me. I was their “Go-to” person, their safe place. I cooked, ironed clothes, helped with homework, played with, and disciplined boys who would become men. Without going into much detail, I’ll express that my mom was fighting demons we could not see, and we suffered because of it.

Our household lacked the parental units necessary to maintain it and we grew up well before our time. Being children of divorce and separation, we all developed certain psychological “issues” that would linger into adulthood. I struggled with abandonment and fear of loss. I still do.

I am open about this and am the only one who has sought therapy because of it. I know there are still pieces of me yearning to have my “original” family back and a mother who was more active or involved, but I also know the past is gone and there’s no getting it back.

Healthy human development requires needs for physical and emotional care to be met. Unmet needs can result in feelings of abandonment. — Good Therapy

I search for bits of what I wanted my family to be in the people I meet: a devoted & more present mother, a faithful & more responsible father, less violence— curbed dysfunction . . . But I have to remind myself, I cannot go actively looking for what I am missing — it cannot be my ultimate reason for building relationships.

It is an everyday experience in knowing who I loved and why and remembering what I have lost too.


Growth Spurts

I have riddled my adult life with relationships where either I was deathly afraid to leave or my partner or friend felt as though they couldn’t leave. We stuck to each other, okay with the familiar, exasperated with holding on, but denied ourselves the freedom of letting go. I held on much longer than I should have. I did not want to lose them — I’d lost so much.

Co-dependency is a learned behavior that can be passed down from one generation to another. It is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. — Mental Health America

It was obvious that much of my behavior centered on codependency which stemmed from feelings of childhood abandonment and either I was going to stare this truth into its face and take it head-on or continue to deny it. I faced it. I am getting better daily because of this option.

During these growth spurts, I have had to let go of some people I loved and will always love but held on to them because of history or decades of time that lapsed between us. Or . . . I did not want to feel what I needed to feel without their presence — peace. I didn’t know it would exist without them.

I tightened my grasp even if the relationship was one-sided; I did what I thought would keep us together: I showered them with gifts, made more time for them, checked up on them even when the gesture had not been reciprocated. In short, I removed layers of me with any semblance of hope that it would change them or make them stay.

In letting them go and giving them room to run, I also learned not to chase after them — not to reclaim what had been dead years before its actual expiration date.

There is an overwhelming sense of relief leaning into genuine bonds and friendships that come with no strings attached. I am also more aware of pointing out codependency, negative attachment, and fear of abandonment in others and moving away from forming these types of relationships.

Not that I am perfect in the selection of those coming into my life — I never will be. This is a testament that I now know what to look for and how to bow out of or back away from what could be potentially harmful to me.


You Are In My Heart

If I loved you, you had meaning in my life. You were here for a time and if you have vanished, that time has passed and rightfully so. I mourn your loss just as I would the death of the physical body. Your soul remains. I can feel you.

It was wise for us to part, for us to move on and move forward, and I believe this wholeheartedly. I am still learning, still growing, and recognizing parts of me that need fine-tuning.

But I know I loved you, and I always will.


Originally published on Medium.