Poem twenty-one

I love this number

twenty one

it shows my strength

transposed it is my birth month in numbers

my son and I share these numbers because God said so.

This number is my good luck charm

it is my confirmation number

it is the number that reassures me that I have witnessed a birth and must carry on after its death

this number

is the one that grew me into a woman as my son was growing his wings

the elimination and the process have no specific order in which they carry out

this number

repeats when I step in my apartment

201 is that number or the address where I lay my head 18012

I find an immediate comfort in twenty one

a comfort that I want to wrap up in and go to sleep

an immediate response to an action

this number is the day I gave birth

in the eighth month

of two thousand ten.

This number

twenty one

is my foundation

of my family.

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Poem twenty

we used to be little girls

playing on Cleveland streets

enjoying our youth

eating penny candy and playing hopscotch

running to the corner store for our mamas.

we used to be teenage girls

playing on Cleveland streets

enjoying our youth

drinking cheap beers and smoking weed

courting relationships with grown men.

we used to be young women in our twenties

enjoying our youth

snorting good drugs and faking it til we made it

waking up wanting to not wake up.

we are older young women in our thirtes

holding on to youth

drinking morning coffee and going to sleep at eleven

thanking the Most High for Its Grace.

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Poem eighteen

sing a song

for those fallen

are angels

forming clouds

of love from a far

let us remember when the wind blows

we are magicians

sending bunny rabbits

into hats

to be released

into our hearts.


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Poem seventeen

Past dealines

past due

bills piling up

and no money to pay them.

Just another day in our life.

We scrape the scraps and create treasures

we rob Peter to pay Paul to pay John

these are names of disciples

none of who we pay are sacred.

Just firms and companies taxing and subsidizing

Just the government taking its cut being for the people

Just another reminder to get your own and don’t rely

Just another day in our life.

We go through this cycle only to die

that is what nobody wants to talk about.

Though we see it

We rarely imagine going through it.

We are paying bills and living this life just for a moment.

Let us try to smile while living to make the pain feel less.


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Poem sixteen

Spring is upon us

in Cleveland

we are gearing up for summer

maybe it won’t be deadly this year

the people may have cookouts without the ambulance and police joining


won’t cry over spilled blood

may they not look at the news and see a loved one

a past lover

this summer the RNC is coming to Cleveland

downtown will be stomping grounds for the one percent

they will drive around in bulletproof cars with black chauffeurs

riding through our neighborhoods

judging us and taking notes

the middle of the summer tends to bend back and punch our throats

leaves us speechless death in our city

winds us up for the pitch

then drops the ball


blazes in and freezes out

we become shells of our former selves

we become mourning statues moving

the young girls grow bellies and give birth

young men don’t understand education is what will give them futures

spring is the precursor to the main event

where police sharpen their bullets and wait at stop signs to pull cars

over on the side of the road and smiling

they arrest people


transforms to another city

we still call it Cleveland.

It is always home.



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Poem fifteen

your granddaughter is getting big.

her legs are bungee cords she can’t stop jumping.

her smile is my light.

it radiates toothless and drooling.

she’s a happy soul.

your son is a man and a father and a good brother to his siblings.

his mannerisms pattern yours.

his posture is your posture.

the resemblance is undeniable.

your daughter is still special.

one of a kind she follows her own path in her own bubble.

her smile is wide and bright.

timidly she is walking into her destiny.

she misses you so much she rarely cries.

your daughter is still seeking.

daily she wakes up gives thanks and thinks about you.

her days are filled with sunshine and smiles and God.

We are all where we are supposed to be in our lives.

living in patterns of each other though different ages and mothers

we are one mass of flesh connected by blood and noses and jokes seemingly not funny yet hilarious.

you are missed.

you are missed.

there aren’t any words to describe the feeling of your large presence being gone.

the remnants of your body lives in us until our time comes.

we are prepared.

we are preparing.

we are living in a manner that reflects everything you tried to be and couldn’t.

and that is okay.


there are days when I think I can see your face on my bedroom wall.

there are times of the day when I can feel you pass through my body.

days when I hear you talk to me.

it is your voice gently moving me forward.

I hear you.


i see you.


almost a year to your death.

I shut down on your birthday this year.

closed myself off to the world and its responsibilities.

this is natural.

it is the highest level of grief.

these days will get easier without you.

I am living so I may hug you again.



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Poem fourteen

Love has to be the most easiest thing to get into.

And the hardest thing to fall out of.

Takes years to trick the heart that this feeling is real and deserving and necessary.

In a world of independent women and not needing a man

or men being no good and unambitious

feeling a foreign secure feeling of care

takes some getting used.

The need of being needed and wanted.

Looking in my mirror I ask myself why and then he tells me what I have been needing to hear and that feeling rises.


sneaks the hardest of us into a dark corner and keeps us face first in

the crook of the corners of extreme care and adoration and healing.

Pain builds a wall and separates us from our child selves

the very innocent and pure beings that we were

the youth that saw life as a new thing everyday until the dark realities overpopulated our psyche.

before the conditioning took place.

Looking into the eyes of a man and seeing exactly who God made him to be.

The eyes hold a vision that only you are allowed to peek at.

The man with the eyes that you are staring in loves you enough to share his complete whole self with you.

To watch you break down repeatedly

continuously watch you get up and tackle life.

He wants to spend the rest of his life with you and buy you a home type love.

Finding that…

gives new meaning to being selfless

it means having conversations and each accepting responsibility for ones’ action

being bad and selfish

rude and disrespectful

stubborn and prideful

beautiful and flawed.

A quiet love

where nobody evens knows his name and you like it like that because he doesn’t want what you want he wants more

being divine order

God man woman child

God Love for a man

a lover

a husband

is one that has undertones of indecisiveness

it is very human in all of its levels

there are things that go on that will never go on

and decisions that are made that do not make sense.

Love takes a whole lot of patience and understanding and kindness

because hearts break too frequently and badly to be played with.

We are all getting older.

We must cherish who God sent and weigh the good against the bad.

Be of good heart and good faith.

Love our neighbors

our partners

our mates

as we love ourselves.

As God Loves Us.




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