Tag Archives: childhood

April 20th: A Space to Look and Think

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Today, Katrina prompted us to find our “space to look and think” and I focused on the garage of my childhood home. It’s a space I miss. (The image is not our actual garage.)


ElevenEleven (Day 4 of 5-Day Writing Challenge)

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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


But of a King who would




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.

Living Without Her

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Almost ten years ago today

She left our world

My mother lets us

Live now 

Without her 

Not connected to anything


My beautiful Mommie 

Who made childhood so cool and easy

Summer was our favorite time

Waking to funky sounds on the radio  

And aromas of her good bacon 

And warm waffles

Playing Monopoly on scratchy shag carpet

On we would go

Dancing for hours 

To Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin

And Mommie cheering,

“Get it girls! Ahhh shucks!”


Until it was time to dive into the pool

Sometimes filled with intruders

In ugly pink swim caps

Who she called friends and could

Be themselves

Who had begun swim lessons

Who we’d see again and again

Year after year

Until she got too sick 

Or too tired to swim 

Or teach again


My mother lets us

Live now without her

But she’s close

We know it’s not going to get easier

Because it’s been almost ten years since

She left here

We remember that day

She left here

The way

She left here

But she’s close

Not connected to anything

Except us