Happy new year

She breathed

Through swollen lips

As he tipped her face

Up to the pregnant moon

He whispers,

For all acquaintances be-


She murmurs.

We start anew

The year is young

There are seeds to plant.


When I die

Please save a tree

Don’t tell anyone

about me

Keep my name

out your mouth

Don’t spread the news

on Facebook.

Don’t memorialize me

on Twitter.

Don’t tell my brothers

Don’t tell my cousins

Don’t tell a soul

Just keep it movin’.

I won’t have a funeral

So you won’t get your chance

To weep fake tears

A mourner’s dance.

Don’t fool yourself

Don’t insult my memory

With trite words

And banal sympathy

Don’t look for my grave

Because it won’t exisit

Don’t contact my children

Because they already know

Your nosy query

Is all for show.


Precious moments

An infant’s cry

Wiggling, straining

Flipping over

Two baby teeth

Cresting pink gums

A crawl to a waddle

A dance so wild

So freeing

So static

Caught on camera

Birthday cake

Candles that burn

But mommy and Bubba

Offer their breath

To shadow a wish.







A smile

Then gone.


Della was that bold

Black woman

Like Harriet Tubman

Didn’t take no stuff

As Eloise Greenfield

Expressed long ago.

I watched her in movies

I saw her on television

I listened to her music

And she made me feel

Like my great auntie

Was on that screen

And through those speakers

Making me proud

And secure

Knowing a black woman

Being strong and sure

Was there for me

To watch and learn.

I never knew her politics

I don’t know her story

But her presence made

All the difference in the world.

RIP, Queen.

Waiting for my order

Tooling on my phone

Watching ladies chatting

Thinking about nothing

Then a lady gets up

Retrieves a wad of green

Abandoned on the floor

Hands it to the cashier

“Someone dropped this”

“Oh, that’s mine,”

Said a customer

Attempting to order.

They smile.

A surprised, “Thank you.”

I smile.

In this day and age

Kindness still exists.

Honesty still reigns.

Hope is still alive.

You Think You Know

Flash of smile

Eyes wide and clear

Soothing tones

A demeanor so dear.

An easy laugh

A ready embrace

Quick witted commentary

With an open face.

“She speaks so well”

“You’re not like the others.”

I wish you were she

A backbone to brothers.

Then when eyes turn away

The darkness dawns

Essence so pure

From the soul it spawns

Little wicked worries

Seething with fire

What was so dear

Is spiked with ire.

The smile, the face

All tepid iced tea

You think you know someone

But you don’t know me.

I want to lie in bed

With nothing much to do.

I want my biggest worry to be

The newness of my shoe.

I want to burn up time

Playing games and having fun.

I don’t want to get the side-eye

For wanting to be just young

And carefree with “friends”

Running in and out my doors

Don’t want to worry about bills

And errands to busy stores.

I want my meals to be cooked

I want someone else to drive

I want to not worry about anything

I want to go back to five.

So precious, that funny childhood

With worries that don’t effect

Any one or more dependent

No need to earn respect.

I just want to go back in time

To live selfish jubilee

I want to tell my younger self

Enjoy now and be kind to me.

Age came upon her

Like a hurricane

Expected, prepared for

But devastating all the same.

Whatever happened to

That spry twenty year old

Who could run and jump

Turn a head with hips

Swaying to the beat

Of The Temptations

The Supremes,

And Marvin Gaye.

Who is this woman

Staring back in the mirror

Crows feet and bags

Shadows and spots.

Arid honeypot

Skin like a road map.

And joints that ache

Lips like sand.

What happened?



Flames reach for bones

Nothing left to quench

The destruction.

Demented angels flutter

Hovering over heat

Begging for attention

Seeking oxygen.

And time does their bidding.

Allowing the burn to rage.

Allowing the burn to build

And red hot fingertips reach higher and higher while snapping a tuneless song with natural rhythm

And then

The relief comes

And then

The relief goes

And then

A shadow

Of that




Watching the sun

Set beyond human’s reach

Saying goodnight

To a day that began

With promises of treasures

Joy and light

Now the time has come

To say goodnight.

Wishing the day could

Last forever

But the sun can be cruel

And tear apart

A joyful friendship

Of light and sweet

Lashing away

Paper thin skin.

Sweet daylight

You’ve served your purpose.

A bridge to the West

Now is time to rest.