Sometimes I sit old with my youth held captive by a too eventful past as I try to un-remember, violations, confrontations and separations caused by your frequent and always, always unwelcome invasions into my girl-child never to reach adolescent virginity. Your penetrations stole smiles damaged dreams and left visions vanished of veils & flowers & pure white dresses. I fight to forget images of my family of which you too were a part images of embarrassed eyes enveloped in anguish and hurt and fear. Fear of not knowing if they were more afraid of what happened to me or to you. Eyes that tried to look and see me still, as their little girl but, never being quite able to do it and often after only hours never days never weeks or years of making myself not remember the pain not relive the horror not still feel the shame of your touch I still sometimes cringe in contempt not of you, but of myself. Even now after all the years of family & friends & therapy & even God telling me that it wasn’t my fault I still feel flashes of guilt. Did I hug you too much? Did I kiss you too much? Did my calling out to you in the middle of the night because I was afraid of the dark or of something mean that you should come inside of me and tear up everything that I saw beautiful in you and in myself? Even now as I sit old the little girl inside of me never allowed to welcome womanhood weeps in the corner of my thoughts and I wonder still Did I love you too much? Daddy Did I love you too much.
How does a mother tell her children, why? Why she stays with a man who abuses her. Slowly and maliciously stealing their mother from them. What does she say in the aftermath to inquiring little eyes leaking in horror and fear of the deadly dances of rage they see before them. She can make excuses to everyone else and even to herself, weeping words like "he love me" "he doesn't mean to hurt me" "he's always so sorry afterwards" even as he strikes her without warning or reason. But, what does she tell her child, who is there during the rampage, who is there to witness the whippings who is there to smell the sorrow to hear the heartache to feel every blow of his fist beating her into submission? How does she explain the emptiness the bright ache of agony they experience after? What does she say to them each time after the attack is over and she is still there sleeping with the enemy? Children cannot comprehend memories of magic moment or days filled with desires and dreams All they know all they remember is the terror that comes in the form of him. What does she tell them of the fear or the feel of someone's hands wrapped around her throat of hope choking it to death. She cannot tell them of the screams shouted into her spirit scaring it into silence. She has to leave even when she feels that it is too late to matter. She has to leave. Confront her fear of having no place to go of starting over of being alone. She has to leave because she cannot tell her children anything, if she is dead.
Poetry Pulls Pain out of me I mean without a haiku don’t know what I’d do no simile would be the death of me I’d have no aim or destination without the path of personification I’m telling you I’d rot to my core if I couldn’t mix a metaphor because poetry pulls pain.
Poetry pulls pain out of me and when the world is raining down constantly and other people are persecuting me I write poetry
I write poetry when I lose my job when the bills are due when the bus is late making me miss that interview already knowing that I wasn’t even considered for the damn job. I write poetry when my man leaves I write poetry when he comes back I write poetry when I’m worried about my children. I write poetry because poetry pulls pain
I write poetry when I stump my toe hit my elbow or when that bald spot in the back of my head just won’t grow.
I write poetry when I can’t sleep at night when my shoes are to tight when that man and I fight and things just are’t going right I write poetry because poetry pulls pain
Poetry pulls pain out you see and when I don’t even know what’s going on with me or what the next move in my life will be I WRITE! I WRITE! I WRITE! I write poetry. I write poetry because, Poetry Pulls Pain.
You ever ride? You ever ride on a “Train” for “Miles” until you got “Dizzy?” Got so dizzy it felt like you could fly fly like a “Bird” man fly so high and so close to heaven you felt Godly? Like, you was the “Monk” of melody the minister of music serenading sermons of soul into some righteous rhythms.
You ever hear you ever hear, then listen to the lyrical libations of “Louie”? You ever shout salvation while “Sachmo” blows into your being narrating notes of rhapsody into rhythms of royalty making you feel like you was a King, a Queen the “Count” of “Basie” the “Duke” of “Ellington” or just some beautiful “Lady of the Day.”
You ever clap your hands to the soulful sounds of sister "Shara", sister "Ella" as they filled your sorry soul with joy? Or stomped your feet to the magic of Brother "Tyner" you know, the original the real "McCoy"
You ever jump on a jazz note and ride the rhythm? you ever jump on a jazz note and ride the rhythm? ride so far and fast you felt compelled to never come back.
You ever slip inside of a sax hover under a horn peel off a piano or float on a flute until you felt like a drum? A drum beating into the soul of the universe.