The Life I Gave Him

The Struggle Is Worth It

Life off Screen by JD Mason via Unsplash

What does this picture say? I have an imagination that would bring itself back to life if it died, so instantly, I drum up a story. Who is this man? What is his story? What is his struggle? He stands, contemplating his next move, deep in thought, and utterly focused. What’s his background? I study him. I plant my eyes on an amazing creature and I think . . .

“What type of life can I create for him?”

He just received the crippling news from his wife — the small business loan they applied for through his local credit union two days ago was denied. For the last three years, they have prepped, devised a gameplan, created flyers, and reached out to local residents and business owners for sponsorship and the one thing that would help launch their small business was denied.

He thinks about their credit score, although not excellent, was in overall good standing — can’t be that. He thinks about their presence in their local neighborhood and both of them are upstanding citizens, well-known at their jobs and within their community — can’t be that. He stops to think about where they want to plant their small business and why and stays there with this thought for hours. For him and his wife, to have a recreational center in their urban neighborhood that also operates as an after-school tutorial location would be essential for many of the children who are struggling with their grades in school and who also need somewhere safe to be until their parents return home from work.

He stops to think about where they want to plant their small business and why and stays there with this thought for hours.

This was their dream. How could they deny it?

He huffs out a huge sigh and decides to cut work short and drive home early enough to beat the evening traffic. When he reaches home, his wife sits staring at the letter — a look of exhaustion is slapped on her face. She looks up to him and begins to sob. He gently takes the letter from her, glances over the first few lines, and then the beginning of the “rejection” paragraph . . .

Loan Rejection Letter Sample via Google (altered)

He sits down, defeated. The word “other” never looked so incriminating, so . . . distorted. He read over the rejection letter three times before putting it back into its envelope and placing it in their important documents file cabinet. He made one phone call. His uncle mentioned three weeks ago that if, “there is anything I can do to help steer y’all in the right direction Roman, just let me know” — his memory picked up on that conversation and his pride was swiftly pushed to the side. If anyone understood the all-too-exhausting plight of entrepreneurship, it was his uncle.

One phone call, twenty-five minutes, and some joy-filled tears later, the dream that seemed as though it was crushed was instantly thrown back into manifestation. They would have their recreational center/after-school tutorial program after all. When he heard his uncle say, “Roman, that ain’t nothing, youngblood. I was rejected three times before I was approved and now, I am blessed beyond measure. You name your number and I’ll write that check.”

If anyone understood the all-too-exhausting plight of entrepreneurship, it was his uncle.

Six months later, he and his wife host twenty-two children, employ a staff of twelve and have garnered a profit instead of a loss. The rec center has provided their community with togetherness, a sense of belonging, and a positive atmosphere for the children. The work they do is fulfilling as well as substantial for not just them, but for everyone connected to them. When he looks at his wife now, her face glows — happiness lives in her eyes.

This was their dream.

It lived because it had to.


Originally published via Medium. The link shared is a friend link as this is a piece behind Medium’s paywall. Thank you for reading.


The Life I Gave Her

Featured Writer for April

Young Minds of Medium Writer Braden Turner

Every once in a while, I come across a young Writer who surpasses what I expect from that young one–Braden is exactly that type of Writer. He does not back down from a challenge and can flip micropoetry into long form and back to micropoetry without missing a bit. He is this month’s feature. Braden is in his last year at the University of Georgia and was just recently accepted to complete his Master’s as well. He is one of my favorite Writers to collaborate with and each time our minds meet, we make something so very special.

There will be two of his works published here today; one, a 5-word response to the topic of “Rejection” and the other is a superb poem that highlights the torment of humanity, the possible fall of love, and the gods who rule the world, but still let it crumble among its men.

People, please encourage his heart:


a manuscript titled: victory

Rejection Challenge

Photo by Ranit Chakraborty on Unsplash

You were merely
the prologue.


a manuscript titled: victory was originally published via A Cornered Gurl on Medium.


of gods and men

Photo by sergio souza on Unsplash

humans turn their
worlds
belly-up, barbed branches
tearing apart their
seams.

watch them fight a war now,
play-things
enamored with the indefinite —
losing their minds over
elusive and tormenting
humanities
because they once had a taste
of such heavenly ambrosia.

watch from the skyline,
eagle-eyed
overhead with underhanded
magic,
 lancets slice through
pseudo-divine blood pacts.
wonder the questions, wander
for answers —

why do they eat up the inevitable?
piece apart timelines, time
zones separate then and now
isolation is human nature.
with a flicking wrist
we could decimate
anything, anyone
would cower at the thought.
but in their ignorance exists
unfeigned fortitude,
solidified
by their thirst for ungodly
indeterminate joys.


of gods and men was originally published via A Cornered Gurl on Medium.

Your Version of Love

Part III An Audio Poem

Courtesy of Thomas Quaritsch/Unsplash
You give love a headstart
telling it to run as fast as it
can before you catch it,
subdue it, chain it, and hold
it prisoner, doomed to a life
of serving only you. 

You let it out to breathe in
two seconds of fresh air, 
claiming the sun does not
have time for an extra pair of eyes
looking over its shoulders. 
You label love a safe place
yet you castaway demons 
in the pits of its lap, 
shoving your world into
the spotlight. 

Love has its eyes on you, 
watching your every move 
as you calculate an escape from
the escape that got you here
in the first place. 

Love does not come to your aid, 
does not fix you hearty meals
made from scratch, cannot remember
the day it looked at you and wanted
to take you right where you stand, 
strip you down to bare bones,
kiss the aching places,
and soothe the locking joints in
dire need of oil and hot baths. 

You send love out on
a coffee run, tell it to bring
you decaf with double cream, six sugars, 
and a shot of espresso, but
demand your change and 
refuse to tip. 
but, you want love to see you
in full bloom, waiting for it,
heart heavy, mind full of worry, 
and a soul tired of needing the 
one thing it cannot get. 

Musical Inspiration: Imagine Dragons/Natural

Originally posted via P.S. I Love You on Medium.
Parts I & II