It’s almost May
my worst rejection
batted me down 2 years ago
life can build you
up or break you in 1/2
I choose to be whole
I can’t live in pieces
the sanctity of lust
the acceptance of love
& the depth of a broken heart
will pummel a shoddy ego
I am stronger now
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 . . .
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.
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.
humans turn their
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
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
would cower at the thought.
but in their ignorance exists
unfeigned fortitude, solidified
by their thirst for ungodly
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.