Posted in New Work, Poetry, Self-discovery and growth, Thoughts and Ruminations

Used-Tos (Next Episode)

I have some trouble

telling people all my “used-tos,”

It leads down this rabbit hole

of more things

I used to do, think, be, say, see.

And it seems like

I have issues,

but honestly, they’re more like

Editions…

every one more distinct than its predecessor,

and each

a different minefield

to navigate.

I used to fear judgment,

But now,

I wait patiently

for the next episode;

Life is an unending season.

Posted in New Work, Poetry, Random

Journal

My journal’s running out of pages

and I don’t have a new one…

Mild natural disaster;

But my world is my journal –

So I’ll write my stories

into the words I speak

and the goals I work

to accomplish.

I’m running out of pages

and patience,

but I always

have words.

Posted in New Work, Poetry, Thoughts and Ruminations

Playing Fields

If women
aren’t smart enough,
responsible enough,
capable enough,
tough enough,
or even…

simply not good enough

to level the playing fields
of men,
then why is it
they’re entrusted with
educating children and adults alike,
responsibility for their welfare,
deemed capable of shouldering
everyone else’s bullshit;

Given the strength and toughness
to create and bring forth
life,
and
considered good in every way
but the one
that enables them
to stand equally
and individually
among men
?

Posted in New Work, Parenting, Random

Drawing My Face

When my oldest son, Marcus Jr., was five years old, his kindergarten art teacher pulled me aside at an open house. I immediately started wondering whether he was about to tell me Marcus was in trouble for something, or his grades were slipping (in kindergarten?!), or he went off radar on his assignments – he’s a bit of a dreamer. Instead, the teacher told me that he had something to show me.

I followed him to the front of the classroom while other parents oohed and ahhed over their kids’ artwork, on proud display at desks by the artists themselves, and mingled with other parents. I didn’t see Marcus Jr.’s displayed on his desk. I found out why a moment before I started to question it. While he looked through papers on his desk, the teacher said, “I’ve never met you, but I’ve known what your face looks like for most of the school year now.” I’m both confused and mildly alarmed. ‘Sup with my face, mister teacher-man? He continued, “No matter what assignment I give the class, Marcus draws the same face into every picture.”

He pulled out a sheaf of papers of various colors and textures and began spreading them out across his already chaotic desk, and said, “I’m actually really surprised by the detail in these. For a five year old, he’s great with details.” I’m looking at all my son’s art by this point. I’m shocked – every picture is my face. Literally, my entire face, from hair, to eyebrows, eyelashes, cheekbones, lips, and jawline. It was a tad disconcerting because that was a lot of my face at once – I mean, I only ever see it in the mirror. But it also gave me some pause – my son, only 5, who still had baby fat in his jowls and the apples of his cheeks, drew my face. Beautifully. The slope of the nose was perfect, the shape of the lips was mine, the curve of my cheekbones was spot-on,  the angle of my eyes…it was pure art. Though mostly two-dimensional, each face improved with each progression. Pretty sure I cried a little.

While I was suddenly marveling at my son’s ability to recall faces, the teacher was saying, “I’m actually just really surprised at how he captured the wide nostrils and full lips unique to the diaspora – at such a young age, it’s amazing.”  I’m thinking, you’re surprised a lot, mister teacher-dude. But I agreed. “He even drew my beauty mark…”
The teacher said, “He knows your face so well, it’s all he draws. He’s also clever for working it into the assignment, instead of making it the assignment,” and laughed. “Oh, and you can take those home if you want. They’re all graded.” He went back to the other parents. “Thanks,” I said, still staring at the papers. I looked at Marcus Jr., wondering where I got such a kid. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell Marcus Sr. that our oldest kid inherited his artistic skill.

It’s funny, we never really think about how our kids probably think of us as much as we think of them – but we probably should. I didn’t think about the fact that that my kids doing something as simple as looking at their parents every day could influence them in so many different ways. Especially in their creative talents (all three of my kiddos are artists). I often wonder if we underestimate our children, like they’re here to give us the lessons, and we’re actually here to learn. Maybe that is the way it works, maybe they’re the masters, and we’re the young grasshoppers. All I know is, a syllabus would’ve at least been nice. This shit is hard. But then, so is life at times. Exams should be a breeze.

He’s 14 now and doesn’t draw my face so much, at least not as much as he did at five. But he still smiles at me the same way he did from his first one, and I think that maybe in his head sometimes, he’s still drawing my face.

Posted in New Work, Poetry, Self-discovery and growth, Thoughts and Ruminations

[Ain’t I] Just a Woman?

And ain’t I just a woman?
Not stereotype, not stigma –
without suppressed energy
and abandoned passions,
just woman?

Ain’t I just…
Her, one who has no qualms,
no regrets,
just free
to be exactly who I am,
unequivocally?

Should I not align
with other stars of my ilk,
and should I not seek
all I wish to find?
Were it not for another [woman],
I wouldn’t have or be
a mother.

And damned if I seem selfish
for wanting my own piece of me…
What imminent danger is it
to own the peace of my mind,
to be happy to just be?

And just what if I embody
more?
More than just a carrier
of burdens, of knowledge,
of pain and pride,
wisdom and experience…?

What happens when I’m more than just?

As in, more than just
the transmitter
of secrets and signals
alike?

If assumption didn’t usurp
disagreement,
and love is more than
legacy’s afterbirth;
Then…

Ain’t I just a woman?

 

18 September 2019
Posted in New Work, Parenting, Parenting and Poetry, Poems to my children, Random, Self-discovery and growth, Thoughts and Ruminations, Uncategorized

Ra(w)rity

With just a simple thought,
the firing of a synapse,
the striking of nerves,
the launching of cells,
power emerges.

The power to create –
willed
with only an unspoken command…
rawness and rarity.

The epitome of true talent;
How beautiful the mind is
that even subconsciousness
affects reality.

 

18 September 2019