The Beauty of Realization

Caison: He’s learning that his reflection is a beautiful thing and in pictures, it’s even more so. This is him fiddling around with my phone and his reaction to seeing his face.

he picks up my phone,
little fingers fiddling with
meaningless buttons.

What’s he trying to do?
this, I query myself…

a picture is worth a thousand words,
but Caison’s smile is priceless.

Family: Reuniting, Feeling the Love

My baby brother Maurice, Me, and our Mom|Savannah, Georgia
My brother Joshua, Me, and my brother Michael|Savannah, Georgia

the beauty of love everlasting–
the kind that sneaks up on
you when you’ve forgotten it ever
existed…

you remember it when you
are next to a beating heart that
pumps the same blood
as your meaty veins
and you cling to it…

it is a love that only a tortured soul
can dream up in the middle
of a breakdown and lean into it,
drenched in its essence–
buried under its weight.

you cannot help
but feel this kind of
love.
you cannot help
but share this
kind of love.

Featured Writer for March

Photo by Tess on Unsplash

Askia Shantel:

When one receives a piece of writing from a family member to host in their publication, there is no describing it. Askia is one of my older cousins — one, I have always looked up to; she encourages me and has always supported me and reads my work regardless of where it appears. To see her share with all of us here makes my heart smile. Please, encourage her, beautiful people. It takes a lot to jump back into something you have neglected for such a long time. She is our Featured Writer for the next two weeks of March. And now, “Watchful Eye.”


Watchful Eye…

Leaving out of the dress shop, my brain is swirling — I just bought a formal dress for my daughter to attend the military ball at her high school. So, everything seems to be fuzzy because I’m feeling fuzzy all over. As we walk to the car, I see a little bit of a commotion that sort of snaps me back to reality.

A young guy and a very young girl having a bit of a confrontation.

Not really a confrontation — an altercation. He’s pulling her. She’s pulling away.

At first, I don’t think it’s a big deal. Lover’s quarrel. But she’s begging him to leave her alone.

So, now I have two options. I can pull off and mind my own business or I can make sure she’s ok. I choose door #2. I don’t leave because my heart aches for her.

Now I have another decision to make. Should I call the police and get them to help or do I put my window down and give the girl a ride? This time, I go for door #1. As I start to think clearly, if he’s bold enough to assault this young lady outside in broad daylight, he may be in fight or flight mode himself.

So I call the police. I’m moving my car from parking spot to parking spot. I want them to see meI want them to know that someone is watchingI want HER to know that I am there. It doesn’t seem to be deterring him — he’s still pulling, pushing and shouting at her. Another passenger sees this too and stops near the couple. I make eye contact with him and let him know that I’m calling the police.

The dispatcher eagerly asks for a description and a location. She is very helpful and thorough. I feel like she wants the girl to be safe and smart just as much as I do. I’m following. The dispatcher is questioning. The man is yelling. The girl is crying. My heart is breaking.

Just when I think she’s about to really walk away and find help, he grabs her around the neck in a hug/choke. He’s whispering now. Whatever he says works for him. She willingly gets in the car. He glares at me as they speed off.

I feel sick. I can’t believe my eyes.

I am trying not to cry. I want her to get in the car with me so that I can take her to safety. But she’s gone.

I get a glimpse of my daughter. She’s stunned and in disbelief. I can’t help but wonder if my daughter would know what to do if she were in this situation. I wonder if she’s ever witnessed anything like this. I wonder…would someone stop and check on her well-being. I pray someone does…


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

Give Them Something To Believe

Teaching the youth. My older cousin Phil and my younger cousin Alex, his nephew. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Here, you see one of my older cousins speaking to one of my younger cousins, his nephew. Phil, my older cousin, is a successful businessman, an entrepreneur continuing to grow his brand. He has a vast amount of knowledge to share with anyone willing to listen and I watched him as he spoke to my cousin Alex, giving him pointers on what to do in life with his talents in order to have his dreams come true and in turn, work for him.

I sat there amazed by the exchange. As you can see, Alex is listening intently. He is focused. This is nothing new to Phil, regularly, he speaks to hundreds of people who have aspirations of being self-employed and successful in the fields of realty and investments. One of my brothers started his own clothing line, S.T.T.Y. (Stay True To Yourself) and a number of our family members have jumped on the bandwagon and are supporting the Kid by purchasing his creations. The first person I told my brother to reach out to was our cousin.

Young, African-American men need this. They are often hanging by the seat of their pants, struggling because they don’t know the way and they have no idea which path to choose. I am investing in my brother’s company. I believe in his dream. I tell him how exceptionally proud I am of him and I make it a point to rejoice with him when things go well and genuinely empathize when there are hiccups along the way.

The Kid, Posing, but he’s no poser

I want what is best for these young men in my life, for them to reach out and pull back a star. For them to jump up and shoot to the moon. They cannot do it alone. The village is still needed regardless of what some people believe. If we are not willing to get our hands dirty in the mix of catapulting our young ones to a height they’ve never experienced, who will? We must give them something they believe, show them that there is more beyond fast money and slow thinking. The future needs to be filled with a plethora of them paving the way for more and more and more little black boys who will yearn to be for and work for themselves.

If they’re dreaming, don’t crush it. Help build it up. Nurture it. Water it. Speak life over it. KEEP THEM OFF OF THE STREETS! The kind of money out there is the kind that’ll leave them wanting more or send them to an early grave. Our intention should be to watch them live, watch them soar.

If they’re flying high, they won’t have time to come down. Build a young black man up today. He needs that.

Believe me, he needs that.

unconditional 

To know the gift of unconditional love is to become one’s true self without fear. This is a milestone and my heart is happy.

My dad called last night. We had that talk about me being bisexual. I had wanted to be able to sit with him and discuss things in person, but according to him last night, he had something “weighing on his heart.” He just came out and asked me after prefacing it with how much he loves me and how he’d never stop, also stating that no matter who I am, I am his child first and his love for me will never change. 

Him being an Episcopalian preacher has no hierarchy over his love for his child. He also said that he’d known for years but didn’t know how to approach the subject, but he’s glad that I was open with him last night, that I shared myself at my full capacity. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, it was like a casual conversation. I’m grateful for that. I believe, this will open up new doors for us. Expressing how this makes me feel has no words. I don’t think they have even been invented yet.

We all have our skeletons. I am happy mine are out of the closet.