I Thought

Artist Unknown

I thought we had a connection

A connection that no one understood

A connection only you and I could comprehend

Because we were the intended

On an alternate plane

Tattooed with a mixture

Of guns and roses

We created a love

Swirling in a pool of melanated bliss

You completed me

I completed you

Together we were one

Heartstrings laced together

Soul ties that became soul lies

Lies that flowed from your lips

Like the loose lips that sink ships

Ships that contain our love from that alternate plane

Now down at the bottom of the abyss

Never to be found and easy to miss

If only someone would tell my heart

The truth

My heart that finds it hard to get over you

Days and night filled with thoughts of what had been

Until I’m overcome with passionate rage

Turning my world like that ship that dwells in the dark murky waters of the ocean

Never to see the light of day again

I thought we had something real

I thought we had something only you and

I could comprehend

I thought we had a connection

I thought

Not My Independence Day

As the colorful display lights the sky

And God Bless America plays

Take a moment to remember

Remember that on this day

A day that many people celebrate

It is also a day that not everyone can relate

Relate to the feeling of pride and freedom

Love for a battle won

That battle won was only for some

Those melanated Kings and Queens were still

In chains

Destined to sacrifice for another 2 years

And years to come as the physical became mental prisons and modern day lynchings

Replace the plantation with projects

Slave masters with white supremacists with a badge

Throw in the school to prison pipeline

and most importantly

Separate the King’s from the Queens

As long as they are not together America shall have its freedom

After all 3/5ths of a person couldn’t possibly need freedom

So yes, let the fireworks shower across the sky and God Bless America play

As we celebrate NOT MY INDEPENDENCE DAY

Admiring You

As the sun begins to rise

I take this time to examine you in the

Quietness of the morning

Dark hair cut to precision with a bevy of waves

Smooth dark brown skin that reminds me of

The homemade chocolate candy I made with my grandmother

Dark thick eyebrows with cocaine slits showing your down south side

Slim nose that flairs out into Jackson 5 nostrils as Beyoncé calls them

Heart shape lips that look not only delectable, but reveals the most warming smile I’ve ever seen

And as I look up my heart skips a beat at my favorite part of you

Dark piercing eyes stare back at me

I’m in love all over again

When The Mask Comes Off

Photo Obtained from Pinterest. Artist is : Laurie Cooper

The façade has ended

The person you created is gone

The one I’m truly intended

To be has arrived

I gave you all of me

And you still couldn’t see

The damage done over time

Digging deep inside

I cried out for help

I begged you to stop

Let me be

And set me free

But like a bird you caged me

Determined not to let me sing

The trauma you inflicted

Has been evicted

I have found my voice

Now you must listen

As I unburden my truth

When the mask comes off

HellGirl

I rub my eyes in the middle of my slumber

I suddenly feel parched

Parched and hot

So hot it’s like I am on fire

But how could that be

I know I set the temperature to the normal 69 degrees before bed

Opening my eyes, what awaits me stops my already still heart

Soul after soul surrounding me

Preying on my confusion

As they get closer, my body burns more

So much so that flames burst out of my skin

Shocked they step back with newfound fear

Fear that renews my memory

This place does not scare me

It is my home

A figured perched high yells out from his throne,

“GIVE THEM HELL DAUGHTER!”

Love From The Projects

Photo taken by photographer William Gedney

There’s love in the projects

Maybe not all roses and fairytales

But there is love

I remember waking up on summer days

Just waiting to see who was coming out to play

Red Rover Red Rover send my friends over

Then we’d red light green light all over the neighborhood

Before joining the girls to sing about Little Sally Walker sitting in her saucer

Man those were good times

Standing in the front yards

Watching the sunset and betting who’d catch

The most lightning bugs

And slapping every body part bitten by mosquitos

Signaling the day was over but there would be many more to come

Until

Finally waving goodbye after years have passed

Not knowing that everything was changing

The friends that became family will now be strangers

Greetings become awkward

Smiles become forced

Goodbyes become rushed

While internally you just want

To go back to the way things used to be

Red rover, red rover bring that feeling back

Red light the changes that the distance brought

And tell little Sally Walker to never rise from her saucer

Then things wouldn’t have to end yet

You’ll continue to feel the love from the projects.

Daughter To Mother

Photo obtained from Pinterest. Artist Unknown

Can I talk to you for a minute?

I mean really talk to you.

And for once just listen.

Listen to the words as they flow from my lips.

Hold them to the highest priority like an alter to the ancestors.

May they bless our bond after this moment.

A moment that is a long time coming.

There is so much I have wanted to say to you.

I’m sorry life has not always been kind to your feelings.

I’m sorry it made you shut off your love from the world.

As a child I needed that.

I needed it badly, but you could not give it.

At least, not in the way that I needed.

For a while I was angry.

I wondered if I was just unlovable. Now that I know it wasn’t my fault, I forgive you.

I forgive him too.

The man that hurt you.

My father.

You both knew no better,

And in order to heal

I have to let go.

Let go of the doubt and self destruction.

Now I am happy.

Happy that I can say the things and feel the things I never felt.

My children are happy as well.

They deserve that.

Happiness.

Love.

As my mother, you do too.

But you continue to reject it.

That’s okay.

If no one ever tells you or you continue to

Harden your shell.

Just know that how I felt back then

Is how I feel now.

I love you….

Short Story: The Murder of William “Froggie” James

Cairo, IL.

November 11, 1909- Cairo, IL. 

William “Froggie” James was a dashing young man. Tall and dark with a body full of muscles. Many women wanted him, but he only had eyes for his Sandra. They had been together for some time now and would be getting married soon. 

Walking down the streets of Cairo, IL, he was filled with such pride. Black people had come a long way, but still had a ways to go. White folks still had a short fuse just looking for someone to blow up on. He made sure to steer clear of them when he could. 

As he came upon a building, he heard a scream. Something told him to keep walking, but it was a woman and he didn’t want to leave her helpless. As he got ready to go inside, his friend Alexander came barreling out, almost knocking him over and continued up the road.  Venturing inside he saw feet from someone on the ground that eventually revealed a young white woman. Fear filled him like never before and he dashed away from there. 

Once he made it home, he slammed the door as his love came out of the kitchen. 

“What’s wrong,” she rushed to him when she noticed the look on his face. 

“I found,” he struggled to get his words out, “white girl dead.”

Sandra felt a chill come over her, “Did anybody see you?”

He merely shook his head no. 

“Good,” she started to pace, “You didn’t do it right?”

“Of course I didn’t,” he yelled at the top of his lungs.

“We have to get out of town.” She started gathering their belongings. 

William frowned, “I did nothing wrong!”

“You think they care!” She shouted. 

Just then loud knocking came at the door. 

“Come on out William,” they heard the voice of the well known sheriff. 

“I didn’t do it,” William said as he opened the door. 

The sheriff had been kind to him many times. 

“People say they saw you running away from where a girl was found dead,” the sheriff pulled out his cuffs, “It’s better for me to take you in now before anyone else comes after you.”

William took a look a Sandra, “Stay here and don’t let anyone in.”

Tears fell as she watched them drive off. Dark clouds hung over the town. Destruction was coming. 

Just as the sheriff was booking in William, a mob had formed outside. They were demanding that William be released to them for revenge. 

Not knowing what else to do, the Sheriff snuck out the back and drove William out of town. He hoped to stay there until things calmed down. That never happened. 

In the middle of the night, they heard rumbling where they were hiding before seeing a group of men. 

“Hand him over Sheriff,” one of them said. 

Before the sheriff could grab his weapon, they had him at gunpoint while others dragged William away screaming. 

He was dragged all the way back to town, “Please! I didn’t do it!”

His words fell on deaf ears. That night the town seemed to destroy William and whoever else they could unleash their rage upon. 

See as there was no getting through to them he yelled, I did it and Alexander took the lead!”

He knew the right person would hear the message in his confession. 

William was dragged through the town square as people hit him and called him names. In the center, there was a noose tied around his neck as not the men, but the women pulled the rope. After he was hung, his body was riddled with bullets before the people cut pieces of his body for souvenirs. Then as they were finally satisfied, they placed his head on a light pole and set it on fire. 

With all this going on, no one noticed Sandra standing in the background. Filled with rage, she embraced the ways of her ancestors. Her grandmother had taught her many years ago that she would know when to use her special gifts. 

Calling on her ancestors, she placed her hands on the ground, “Ancestors, feel the innocent blood spilled here today. The blood of my love. He did not deserve this and neither did the ones before him. I declare today, until all wrongs are righted, there will never be peace. For as long as innocent blood is spilled, these streets shall forever crumble. Take the peace and take Alexander.”

The streets shook as a scream could be heard in the distance. That scream belonged to Alexander being dragged away before the mob even thought to look for him. Sandra walked off into the night away from the town never wishing to return. Now cracks fill the streets of the town and no matter how many times they fix them, they still crumble. 

Note: Cairo, IL. is my hometown. Although I put a twist of love in the story, William “Froggie” James was an actual person that was lynched for the murder of a white girl there in 1909. Many of us resident have been taught the story. He maintained his innocence and just before his hanging, he admitted and said a man named Alexander helped. That man was never found. Many say that because of all the bad that happened there, the streets are cursed and indeed are filled with cracks no matter how many times they were fixed. Let me know your thoughts in the comments as if you have heard of this story. I hope you like the sprinkle of love and fantasy I placed in it.

A Kiss From A Butterfly

I remember sitting outside

Feeling lost and lonely

A memory of you came to mind

I could see you so clearly

Your caramel skin and bright eyes

Serious face and deep dimples

I could see it all

And it hurt

It hurt so much that I began to cry

And in the midst of my crying

Something landed on my leg

With it, it brought feelings of happiness

A happiness filled with love and laughter

That’s when I knew it was you

You always knew what I needed

And right then

I needed a kiss from a butterfly

When Our Children Call Him Father

I love you Mister. Happy Fathers Day 💜.

I never had mine in my life,

But when I looked into the eyes of the man I love and agreed to marriage I knew I was making one of the best decisions as a wife.

My children would have something that we both never had,

A dad.

He is dependable,

He is strong,

He is comforting,

He is providing,

But most importantly he is present.

His presence is one of the best gifts he can give.

So he makes sure it’s felt,

Everyday that he lives.

Being the strong silent type, trying to express his words could seem like a bother,

But you should see the way his eyes light up

When our children call him father.