I try to give myself grace, to lend myself peace, but thoughts of you stir about in my head during the witching hours, and I cannot find comfort. I don’t know it. It doesn’t come to my aid.
What more could I have done? What more could I have given? I am bone-dry and my heart breaks every time I think of you. You . . . my father. my love. my light. I am walking in darkness–the days are longer–nights are colder. Do I still have meaning?
Every day without you is a stab to my heart–salt to the wound, but I’m trying. I’m trying. I know if you were here, you’d guide me in your own little way– you’d create a path for my weary feet to follow.
I have to look for peace from the stars. I have to lure it in from the moon. I have to search for it around every corner, and still, I grieve . . . I grieve . . . and I wish I didn’t have to.
Thank you toKim Smythfor allowing me to gift a poem to you. It has helped me too.
To learn more about the Your Poem From Me: The Giving Cause, click here.Let me write a poem for you. I can give it life.
I feel moved . . . compelled to do this. I have had this idea dancing about in my mind for a few weeks now, and with the world still spinning away from where we need it to be, the timing feels right. Poetry has always been my way of communicating when I did not know how to say what needed to be said. It is a way of me being able to connect with this community and other writing communities–an expression of everything I can emote, but has trouble leaving my lips and making its way into the ether. I know I am not alone when I share this–writers, especially those of us more akin and in tune to poetry, rely on our words to heal, help, honor, and create happiness. We need poetry–it is our air.
I also know some people who love reading poetry and connecting with it who do not necessarily know how to write poetry or express themselves properly with the writing genre. There are things they cannot talk about for fear or any other obstacle standing in their way. This is where I come in to offer you a gift . . .
Every Sunday at 07:00 am, I will share a poem I have written for someone who has contacted me with their request. There is no subject matter too taboo; nothing I am not willing to handle and pen for you–on your behalf (except for a few intolerable subjects). Allow me to give the world what you want the world to read, but you just can’t find the words suitable enough to meet your specifications. Your poem will be pinned to the top of my blog page via A Cornered Gurl for one week (until the next requestor’s poem is published) for others to read and share the thoughts they may have about it. What you’re afraid to share, I can share for you, in my words, giving my understanding of your request. Who knows . . . It may touch someone who needs it–it may soothe someone who yearns for it.
I am in this with you–I can host your pain, your fear, your indecisiveness, your intolerance, and your “no more fucks to give” here in this space.
If you are interested, please send an email to apoem4ufromme[at]gmail[dot]com. In the subject area, please note, “Gift Poem Request”. Please do not place your request in the comments section of this post. I will respond to your email within two business days.
A few ground rules . . . I will not write about the following:
racist acts (you’ve committed or intend to commit) or hate speech (of anyone in any way, shape, or form)
child pornography or the acceptance of pedophilia
belittlement of someone who doesn’t accept your opinions or beliefs
and anything upon review that does not help promote our most humane selves
We are carrying so many loads these days, the weight of them can be crushing. Let poetry be your expressive path–I can help you along your way.
Welcome to “Your Poem From Me: The Giving Cause.” I await your requests. Peace and blessings.
David, over at The Skeptic’s Kaddish (of a son) was so kind to host me as a feature for his Poetry Partners segment, and I love the poem he shared to accompany my words. It is an honor to share the same page with this awesome human being. I hope you enjoy the poem (s), lovely people.
Thank you again, David! What a great way to build community.
the depth of love carries a torch of light
it ushers in the kindness we need
and lures fighters whose intentions are bright
the heart a source not of stinginess or greed
we long for understanding in this world
our chances of finding it are slim
but we hold on to faith unfurled
peace will fill our hearts to the brim
A sevenling (I have recollections) by ben Alexander of ‘The Skeptic’s Kaddish’
I have recollections of lightheartedness, a
weightless innocence, but more readily remember
crushing heaviness. Now, my heart's mostly numb.
It has gained understanding, as it has come to
reject faith. Depth of love has been the primary
constant... So, I direct others down a different path.
'Yes,' I smile, 'Just believe in yourself.'
rains falls– beats the windows like they stole something I walk the dog in inclement weather boots I’ve had for eight years we rush to one side of the neighborhood then, to another my head is a fireball of indecisiveness I want so much yet I can’t remember what those things are
a friend of mine contracted this overgrown virus that we’re all so extremely tired of– then, her mother, her toddler . . . same week, my cousin, and another and another, and . . . when will this all end I ask myself the dog perches on my lap astonished by the morning darkness could this be an oxymoron
the day after new year’s day is a puddle of regret and lost memories and I didn’t think I’d wake up feeling this way, but . . . I woke up didn’t I I’m supposed to be grateful–I better make a short list of the things I shouldn’t have, yet I do I better remember I’m still here while others took their final bow earlier in the week I better get my head in the game of life and gear myself up for the bullshit that will surely come so I can say I made it through this is my testimony I made it through
“African Americans remain missing four times longer than White Americans”
I have been watching the HBO docuseries Black and Missing, which follows two sisters-in-law, Natalie and Derrica Wilson, founders of the Black and Missing Foundation, Inc., as they lend or give voices to the families and friends of missing persons of color. Black and Missing is “the four-part documentary series, by multiple Emmy® winner Geeta Gandbhir and award-winning documentarian, journalist, author and activist Soledad O’Brien.” That there even has to be a foundation to draw awareness to the numbers of missing persons who go unnoticed, underappreciated, or acknowledged should be enough to cause one’s stomach to turn.
But I am glad the organization exists. I am glad these Black women exist.
Their task is often defeating and exhausting, yet Natalie and Derrica Wilson make it their business to put in this type of work. They are the faces of an organization that cares about and will help fight to bring missing people of color home or design a way to get closure for the families left to ponder about and grieve their disappearances.
“African Americans remain missing four times longer than White Americans.” — Natalie Wilson
When you see that number before you, how does it make you feel? What builds in your system — in your soul — knowing African Americans can go on missing four times longer than White Americans? How does it shape you? We can go over many scenarios and we can hash out what the reasons could be, but one thing is clear — we have to fight so much harder to have our voices heard and engage with the media and public servants at higher rates just to get even a morsel of coverage for each person of color who goes missing.
The following trailer is just a snippet of what the duo is doing — has done. It’s an introduction to their efforts and how far they will go until actual change occurs.
Derrica Wilson is a former law enforcement officer who climbed the ranks and worked as a deputy sheriff and also became the first African American female officer to work for the City of Falls Church Police DepartmentinFalls Church, Virginia. Her experience as a public safety officer, recruiter, and background administrator has given her the tools she needs to interact with the public, assist in city-wide searches and canvassing of neighborhoods, and reach out to various police officers and detectives for assistance.
She is the Co-Founder and CEO of the organization and operates it with her sister-in-law, Natalie Wilson, since its inception in 2008.
Natalie Wilson has a background in public relations and devotes her time to interviewing families, maintaining pertinent outreach, and connecting families with various media outlets for the appropriate coverage for their missing family members. Her son had been wrongfully jailed based on a false report by a police officer and served nearly two years before his release. Natalie is no stranger to injustice and gives her expertise in any way she can to further catapult the organization in the right direction.
She is the Co-Founder and COO of Black and Missing Foundation, Inc.
Having these two Black women at the forefront of an organization that exhausts all of its resources to seek the recovery of hundreds of missing persons of color makes it easier to sleep at night. They are fighting to keep families’ voices alive. They are the center point of hope and undying faith. With their help, many families and friends have connected with their loved ones or have been given closure to open or cold cases that should have continued to be worked.
I could be one of these missing persons of color — my nieces, my nephews, any of my loved ones.
As a Black, bisexual, single woman living in the South, I have pondered about my death at the hands of another, or if I were kidnapped or taken into violent custody — who would look for me . . . Would I have any avengers? Would my family and friends be able to communicate effectively with the media to ensure my story is told? How long would the authorities search for me before they “give up” or “call it a day”? Would I even be important enough to them to conduct an adequate search?
Taking it a step further, suppose I was on the outside looking in and one of my nieces, nephews, or younger or older cousins goes missing — what then? I know myself and my ways . . . I would pull at every resource within my reach to pursue getting efficient assistance. I would lose my voice shouting throughout their neighborhoods. I would use up every cent in my bank account, creating and printing flyers, trying to get television interviews and media coverage.
There is no doubt I would endure many sleepless nights. No doubt.
And is this not how it should be? But would it not be best for the authorities to have these tasks unloaded on them as one would think — a missing person — should be recovered by those employed to protect and serve?
I felt their pain.
The families in this docuseries were open enough to share their stories — their pain. Listening to them shifted something within me. My heart ached. I felt tears streaming down my face and could not stop them. I wanted to single-handedly reach out to all of them and embrace them for what they have endured and all the pain that is ahead for them, too. But you cannot hug away worry. You cannot hug away the depths of pain. There is no antidote to reverse the various emotions many of them are feeling because of their significant losses.
However, with the Black and Missing Foundation, Inc. at the ready, there is light at the end of the tunnel for people of color. Derrica and Natalie Wilson make it their business to serve their community and help families lasso in resolutions.
It is not a safe world out there for dozens of people — for anyone, really. And times are getting much harder. To think about the possibilities of being neglected and forgotten if I were to go missing is another sliver of anxiety I do not need — do not want. But it is there, settling in the darkest spaces of my mind, and I cannot ignore it.