Naked Reflections Poetry: Shameless and Unapologetic

Tag Archives: Pools

All The Things Left Behind

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©Glenn Carstenns-Peters

All The Things Left Behind

We saw their mail
Piling on the table by the door
Like if it didn’t
Make it into the living room
It wouldn’t have life

We knew he couldn’t manage
Living in empty rooms
Where memories floated
On dust particles caught
On sun rays
That never touched his skin again

We waited for that day
Like waiting for the elevator light to blink
And doors opening
To pour people
All over us
Because the piles spoke
Behind gluey seals
On certified warnings
That people were coming
To lock the doors forever

They gave him two days
To pack 40 years
Without enough boxes
Or back strength
We called our crews
Our village of warriors
Who moved fast
With fury and frustration
Until every car and truck
Filled to capacity

They made sure we didn’t leave anything
Important behind
Like my mother’s jewelry and coins
Her letters from our father
Her photo albums of us, them
Her artwork, statues, and ashtrays
Crystal punch bowls and the abacus
From our father’s many faraway trips

But what about the cement handprint
And our initials in the backyard tree
And the hopscotch painting out back
And holiday boxes in the garage
And the smell of the Christmas tree
Or the burning embers
In the fireplace

What about the splashing sounds
From summers in the pool
Music playing in earbuds
While sunbathing and daydreaming
And all the poems I wrote
In notebooks
In the backs of binders
That hid from hands and hearts
Other than mine
All left behind.

© Stacey L. Joy

ElevenEleven (Day 4 of 5-Day Writing Challenge)

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ElevenEleven

I am born of the power and mystique

Of eleven

Born the eleventh day of the eleventh month

11 days before America’s great mourning

Before a ripped nation 

would forever be severed

Born in the eleventh hour and only 120 seconds 

After the eleventh minute

I am born of New Orleans 

Oklahoma and Los Angeles

Of struggle and success

Marriage and separation

Divorce and devastation

I am born of revolutions 

seeking solutions

To injustice and segregation

100 years after Emancipation

A nation steeped in sickness and hatred

Medgar Evers 

President John F. Kennedy

And Four Little Girls

Dead

But of a King who would

March

Speak

Stand 

For equality in our stead

He had a dream!

Will we let freedom ring?

I am born of a distant father 

fighting in Vietnam 

For a country that denied

His dignity because of his color

A father who sent letters

But rarely spent time

At the house he chose for my family

Where 3 bedrooms and 3 baths

Were as easy as warm waffles for us

With hopscotch and laggers

Barbies and Beany and Cecil

I am born of a gifted mother

Who balanced her cigarette on her lip

Like she balanced parenting and parties

A master of words, pools, and school

A teacher who never stopped learning

And made us beg for crossword puzzles

Boggle and Rummikub

A woman scorned but undefeated

Someone who lived with cancer 

Like a warrior 

Adjusted her armor and kept fighting

Until she was ready to be released

Into her ancestors’ arms

I am born of strong legs and working hands

Of bright smiles and freckles

I am born of tears that fall like rain

“As a joyous daybreak to end

The long night of captivity.”

I am born of African kingdoms and royalty

Of the Bantu and the Congo

I am born of a long lineage of power

I am born of God.