Naked Reflections Poetry: Shameless and Unapologetic

Tag Archives: Teach

Daughter of…

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Daughter of…

By Stacey L. Joy, © May 10, 2020

I am Stacey Lorinn Johnson Joy

I am the daughter of

Gloria Lee McPherson Johnson Cooper

Adored as Mommie

Purest of people

Pristine and popular

Someone everyone admired 

Connoisseur of words and puzzles

Follower of rules and righteousness

Smoker, Bowler, Badminton Champ, Legacy Delta

I am the daughter of

Mrs. Cooper

Neighborhood Mom

P.E. teacher

Career Advisor and Counselor

Respected educator

40 years in education

Who taught me how to be me

I am the daughter of

Patsy Ann McPherson

Culinary Queen Nana

Seamstress

Family matriarch

Sweetest heart of the family

Loved to party and hated to pay bills

Taught me how to cry and dance

How to cook and eat well

I am the daughter of 

Proud independent black women

Working in my village

Auntie Joyce and Aunt Frankie

Sister Pam 

Who loved me before I was born

Cousins who have my back

Who are my chosen sisters and brothers

Who teach me that blood and water

Are both thick enough 

To bind us together

I am the daughter of 

Freedom and survival

Feminism and activism

Educators who write and break the rules

Who don’t back down

Writers who inspire me

Whose stories tell

The power of sharing our words

I am the daughter of 

God

Who creates all mothers

Who sustains all struggling women

Who heals all hurting nurturers

Who empowers and ignites all the work 

We all do and have ever done.

Teach Heart (Day 15 of 30)

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Today’s prompt is to write an acrostic analogy poem. This poem is for my students and coworkers in quarantine.

Teach Heart

Teach is to inspire as

Education is to inquire

Academics are to be second when

Children’s needs are to be first 

Heart matters more than

 

Having scores rise or fall

Everyone is to quarantine

As no one is to gather

Remote learning is to disengagement as

Teaching from home is to a call and silent response

I’m From (Day 12 of 30)

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Today’s prompt: Write a Where I’m From poem. I have been writing these for a long time, so it was refreshing to write a new one with different content.

I’m From

I’m from “Put your hands on your hips

And let your backbone slip!”

From my mother’s strong legs and thick thighs

To wide smiles and dark brown eyes

I’m from four generations of freckles and moles

To “Stop combing your hair so much and maybe it’ll grow.”

I’m from Gloria and Jay

Both graduates of U.C.L.A.

I’m from playing school and wanting to teach

To walking on the sink to get things out of my reach

I’m from Are You My Mother?

To Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret

I’m from creating a hidden reading room in a linen closet

To card-table tents and Barbie campers

I’m from a big yellow house on a hill in “The Dons”

To pool parties and Slip ‘n Slide scratches on my knees 

From backyard baby showers and Christmas Brunch

To classy Bridge players and domino dads talkin’ trash

I’m from Hopscotch and laggers on the side of the house

To a daring first kiss that made me shiver and spit

I’m from Nestle Quik’s chocolate bubbles floating in my milk

To Gogo Burgers and Tito’s Tacos with guacamole

From burnt cheese toast and El Patio Mexican restaurant

To sardines and crackers after Saturday morning waffles

I’m from Nana’s Monday night Russian Bank and Pokeno

To Mommie’s badminton matches on Sunday mornings in the gym

I’m from “Drive safely and don’t stay out too late”

To cheerleading at Friday night football games and Shakeys after

From “You will not be driving for 2 more weeks”

To senior prom and graduation parties past curfew

I’m from “Mommie, I think I’m pregnant”

To sedation at a clinic plagued with regrets

I’m from growing up and moving out 

To dorms, apartments and owning my condo

From married with two children and too many jobs too young

To divorced, grateful, and balanced 

I’m from the suffering of my mother’s and father’s cancer

To the resurrection of hope and joy after grief

I’m from struggle, suffering, injustice, and inequalities

To taking a stand, sitting in, and marching onward

I’m from knowing my ancestors had it harder than us

To trusting that God is still the same today and always

I’m from poetry, chalk, protests, and music

I’m from breath and spirit 

I’m from love.

Pieces of Peace #21

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butterfly-lens-flare

Whenever I teach my students

how to write “Where I’m From” poems

I crave the past,

popsicles and Christmas tree flocking

falling on presents Mommie promised

I crave Nana’s baking

her back aching

and her cigarette scented hugs.

I peek into poetic memories

of young writers now college scholars

and I read.

I read Where I’m From poems

from 2002 and 2004

Precious people whose paths and mine

crossed

and tangled footprints in sand

eventually blew with wind and tears

back to my heart

where I protect the peace

in each piece I read.

I find my poem from 2008

When I was from making enchiladas

and summers in swimming pools

But I sense some missing peace

in my piece.

I don’t read that aloud

but it still shouts and makes my skin sweat.

Instead I listen

to what my class is writing

in a 15-minute warm-up.

Every voice is valued.

I praise one for its musical memories

Another for its vivid visuals of family traditions

But when I hear rich rhymes

and unexpected innocence

about loving frogs and butterflies

from the kid who never tries

I saw his light shining from trickster eyes.

I’m from never giving up

just keep writing

you’re on this one

and poems have power.