Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Afternoon Freestyle


You're my queen-to-be

Baby-fresh breath

Silky black hair

gas-induced grins

soon sprouted pearly white chiclets

I memorized every plump bump on your body

Fell asleep with Johnson & Johnson’s aroma molesting my nostrils

Hostile midnight cries invaded color-coded dreams as you communicated this newness to me

Message received

Nourished your body and your comfort simultaneously

Exhaled relief when you fell back to sleep

Hush little baby

Don’t say a word

Momma’s gonna buy you a mocking bird

And if that mocking bird don’t sing…

One turned to two

Two turned to six

Six to fifteen


The mocking bird never sang, you said

caught in tangled branches with leaves plugging your ears

my guess is you didn’t hear it

The hum of abstinence never relayed

The buzz of danger couldn’t filter through the thickets of peer pressure where you chose to rest, relate, and release

Momma’s gonna buy you a diamond ring

If that diamond ring turns brass…

I glanced over your shoulders every 50 seconds

Watched demon’s magnetic pull suck you in

Made you see rosy paths, BLING, and [misperceived] love

I watched your glow dim as you walked backwards toward supposed paradise

Tightened reigns made of rubber bands

Stood before you, alone

The perfect clone

Though you saw old school-don’t understand-over protective-preacher woman

I still saw Queen-to-be

That nursery rhyme told of persistence

Of try until it works

Of moving forward

Despite of…

it ended

Somewhere between curiosity and old habits die hard

When making your own mistakes became settled upon

Ending with knowing you’re the prettiest baby in town

Which is certainly not happily-ever-after and certainly no where to leave you

Hooker tops and apple bottoms won’t do a thing except make you sing this song

To your pretty little problem asleep in the baby swing

Amid chocolate brown arms feeling something like daddy’s love

But you’re not quite sure ‘cause you never felt it

The more I try, you digress

Blessing me with eye rolls and puffs of the same baby fresh breath that warmed my heart

Ignoring constant pleas to secure your future by practicing Queen-to-be patience

Diva was never the route I secured for you

Lil Wayne has you in the grips of celebrity but he smokes crack and possibly licks lolli-pops

Yet you’re immune to the truth spewing from his lips

Just like the way he makes you drop it


Again, from the old school-don’t understand-over protective preacher woman

I can’t make you dance to India, Jill, or Erykah

Still, I spin tunes hoping you’ll recollect their significance…one day

I fed you with Maya, Saul, Paul, Langston, Genesis, grandma, grandpa, aunties, and church

But your belly’s too full of BET, MTV, and 107.9 to feast on what can make you stronger

Pac symbolically spoke of you before you were born

My unconvinced ears couldn’t understand how his musicality could become my reality

Now I see

And I breathe deeply

You’re beyond the prettiest baby, you’re much more than a big butt and a smile

I just need you to realize this


You’re caught in a cycle that mommy can’t break

For your sake

I hope you learn your lesson

© 2009 Genesis

Friday, April 17, 2009


The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind
~Maya Angelou

Sunday, April 5, 2009

For real, for real

Being a parent is hard. Really hard. But one of the most challenging lessons I've learned in this role is that you HAVE to listen to your babies. Most parents, me included, grew up in the tradition of children are to be seen; not heard. But today, that is more of a cliche than a value or tradition. The kids today are demanding to be heard. And if you don't listen to them, you surely will when you are speaking with them across the table at the juvenile detention center. Or you'll listen to them when they are screaming across the room "you don't care about me."

I work with families who have teens with varying issues. But I've noticed the link that binds them together is the no-one's-listening factor. And when I speak of listening, I'm not talking about the adult-type of listening. I'm speaking of listening...for solutions. For instance, I know a teen who wants to be a journalist. But when I questioned her about her career choice, her answer was "cause everybody says I write good." So I asked her if SHE thought she wrote well. Her response: "Yeah, but I just like the way it looks."

Calligraphy classes maybe?

That's the type of listening I'm talking about. If she likes the way her writing looks, then she should have the opportunity to learn more about that. Maybe she'll stay out of trouble because she's involved in something SHE likes.

When we talk to our kids, we have to ask questions about what they are saying. Don't take anything at face value because most kids don't truly know how to verbalize their feelings. Most kids know that they are hurting, but don't understand this is regular kid-stuff.

We (parents) have got to step-up to the plate. Remember when our teachers told us to put on our listening ears? This is just a small lesson that they understood would be a valuable trait.

Why such an odd post? I'm working on a Cleveland-based project that will have parents, teachers, and communities finally listening to the generation that we will ultimately pass our problems on to. And while jotting down notes for the proposal, body of work, and possible funding sources, I became upset that something so simple is so disregarded.

Stay peace

Wednesdays & Fridays Blog