Naked Reflections Poetry: Shameless and Unapologetic

Tag Archives: Black

Black Skin

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Black Skin

 

Standing in the mirror where age confronts memory

Beauty hides deep within the stories of my skin

 

Sunscreens and night creams slathered with care

Melanin needs help to protect a woman’s brown skin

 

Finding shades of caramel without greens and yellows

In makeup never mixed for the depth of Black skin

 

Shea butter and coconut oil line her shelves

Natural soothing salves bear the moisture of Mama’s skin

 

Draped in hip-hugging dresses and snugging pants

Captivate eyes in the rhythm of sisters’ skin

 

Paintings on my wall call my ancestors in

Dripping their blue-black and coal-black African skin

 

Tender caresses to calm our silent grieving

Born from the resilience inside beaten skin

 

Pure cotton sheets cradle my worn tired soul

Where I sleep and remember God is

the skin I’m in.

 

The After-Life?

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Photo courtesy of Jon Tyson

Day 1 of 5: Today’s prompt was to write a rondeau.

 

The After-Life?

What if teachers never go back

Parents and tech pick up the slack

Students learn at their own fair pace

Resources and time laced with grace

Everyone wins on the same track.

 

What if schools gave out lunch and snack

Souls were fed, kept free from attack

Not harmed, murdered or judged on race

Will this be the after-life?

 

What if support destroyed all lack

Success something to be unpacked

Equity and justice, IN PLACE

Suffering in children, ERASED

Embracing lives in shades of black

Will this be the after-life?

Me and My Black Life

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The prompt: Write a List Poem; June’s Day 1 of 5

photo by: Kon Karampelas

My list came from various notes I’ve taken in response to the ways I live as a Black woman:

  1. Adjust to make you more comfortable
  2. Choose a gentler phrase
  3. Smile to mask anger
  4. De-center my voice from our conversation
  5. Wait to see if you will move over
  6. Move over first because you never do
  7. Search online for images like me that I won’t find
  8. Close windows to quiet your hatred
  9. Wipe mirrors to see myself loved
  10. Carry emotional weight I didn’t choose
  11. Disrupt texts that violate me and my students
  12. Stand proudly in intersections and margins where I live
  13. Highlight abolitionist teaching strategies
  14. Console a student who has fear for our lives
  15. Call my sisterfriends who protest and speak up
  16. Celebrate Black Joy
  17. Pray for my son because he shows his feelings
  18. Pray for my daughter because she doesn’t
  19. Laugh and cry because I’m here
  20. Add to my list called Anti-Black Racist Work

They Haven’t Yet (Day 7: An Ekphrastic Poem)

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Today’s Prompt: Write an Ekphrastic Poem. Spend time in the scene of a photograph and write a poem in response to the work of art. My poem is a response to Group of African American Children Playing from the early 1900’s.

They Haven’t Yet

They haven’t yet heard their mamas wailin’
When their daddies got caged no chance for bailin’
“Don’t understand, ain’t done nothing wrong!”
But skin too black and mind too strong

They haven’t yet gone to the Negro schools
Where white folks be callin’ them nasty fools
Young church ladies try their hands at teachin’
On Sunday evening after pastors done preachin’

They haven’t yet been beaten or kicked in the streets
But they seen Hatred ridin’ behind white sheets
White men breedin’ their power and hate
In a country where nothin’ ain’t never been great

They haven’t yet stood in line to vote
Rights and equality ain’t even been wrote
Their own children haven’t yet been born
In a nation where they’ll forever be scorned

They haven’t yet died while trying to live
They had only one smile and laugh to give
They had only one hand and hope to hold
They had only each other to love and behold