Going to the Park with Granddaddy

 

When I go to the park with my mommy

I slide down the slides

I swing on the swings

She chases me and I let her catch me

I have lots of fun

 

When I go to the park with my granddaddy

We have different rules

I remind him I’m not supposed to get dirty

He tells me, “Mommy won’t mind”

 

When there’s water on the slide I slide thru it anyway

When I go on the swings I go higher than ever before and I’m not scared

Granddaddy pretends to be a monster

When he almost catches me, I pretend to be the monster and chase him

I climb in trees

Mommy doesn’t let me climb in trees

I hang on the rings until I fall

Granddaddy catches me

I pick flowers to bring home to my mommy

 

Two ways I know when I’ve been to the park with granddaddy

I take a long nap

I leave a ring in the bathtub

 

I Didn’t Get My Way Today

 

 

I don’t always get my way

Mostly, but not always

I don’t  like it when mommy tells me no

 

She used to give in when I cried

Then she started acting like she couldn’t hear me

 

I used to throw tantrums and lay out on the floor

She learned to step around me

 

She wants me to use my words

I do sometimes and she still says no

What was the point

 

I will come up with a new plan

I want what I want

The day’s not over yet

Today I Am A Dinosaur Fairy

 

 

Yesterday I was a princess

The day before a pirate

Today I am a dinosaur fairy

 

I build robots

The teachers need my help sometimes

The cheerleaders need me too

I’m three years’ old

 

Tomorrow is too far away to decide what I’ll be

I can be anything I can imagine

Today I am a dinosaur fairy

 

 

I Am, Enigma in Black

Raised to walk in two worlds

Speak multiple versions of the same language

Changing sometimes for the audience

Sometimes not

 

 

I am…

Enigma in Black

Probably an enigma anyway

Doubly so because I’m black

 

Raised to walk in two worlds

Speak multiple versions of the same language

Changing sometimes for the audience

Sometimes not

 

Taught their history

Searching to find mine

Their version keeps getting softer

Making the truth less harsh

Mine gets harder to find

Thankful for the elders who don’t forget

 

Rules always changing

Results the same

Slavery, Jim Crow, Black Codes, Literacy Tests, Voter Suppression, Gerrymandering, Mass Incarceration

Rules always changing

Results the same

 

Many roles

Brother, Father, Grandfather, Friend

Teacher…

Making sure the next generation learns

What the books won’t tell them

Enigma in Black

I See Your Majesty!

 

 

I see your majesty on the dreariest of days

When the lake isn’t sparkling

The view clouded by haze

I see your majesty on the dreariest of days

 

Not only when the warm sun is shining

A gentle cooling breeze against my skin

The wonder of your creation continues to amaze

I see your majesty on the dreariest of days

 

I know the blessings promised

The timing yours and yours alone

You will never ever leave me

So I kneel before your throne

 

You’ve kept me through my trials

Though I never once deserved

I prepare to do your bidding

Thanks for giving me the nerve

 

So I’ll never feel deserted

On the loneliest of days

I look round and see your majesty

You continue to amaze

Banana Waffles

He raved year round about his mother Joy’s banana waffles

One would have thought them impossible to surpass their advance billing yet somehow…

 

 

 

He unashamedly loved his mother Joy

In an era and at an age where one distanced themselves from his parents

He embraced them

 

He was an anomaly among college age men

He was respectful of all, his tongue civil, his focus clear

 

He knew what he wanted to be

A childhood accident to his eye and the process to repair it held him in awe

He learned to repair eyes

Later he taught the same

 

All were welcome to his home whether it be his childhood home in Germantown or his adult home in DC

I’ve been to the former and was made to feel like a third son

He raved year round about his mother Joy’s banana waffles

One would have thought them impossible to surpass their advance billing yet somehow…

 

Joy outlived her son

The thought of her pain embarrasses me for dwelling on mine

Her son was not simply one of the best, he was the best

He was the best of friends

He was the best of men

The best of sons

 

In memory of Dr. Robert A. Copeland – Fisk ’77

Granddaughter J

 

 

 

She wakes each day with the sole intention of bending the universe to her will

Most often she succeeds

Everyone she meets is her “friend”

She speaks to strangers

She got that from her mama

 

She can’t comprehend that someone’s birthday is not synonymous with a party

Therefore, a birthday is not something that occurs it’s something you attend

She’s Three

 

She takes naps only when riding in cars and when totally spent

Life is too full to waste it sleeping

Running, jumping and dancing are preferable to walking

Where does all the energy come from?

She’s Three

 

She has the very best hugs

In every picture taken ever, she’s posing

She got that from her mama too

She enters a room and totally owns it

She is the center of the universe wherever she may be

She does not leave she departs, hugging everyone goodbye

 

 

I See You

I don’t see you for what you are not

I see you for who you are

 

 

 

 

I don’t see you for what you are not

I see you for who you are

I worry that you worry that you have to be perfect

It’s only required that you be you

 

You require a standard for yourself you’d never apply to another

You accept all that walk in truth while not assuming this applies to you as well

You are mother, sister, mentor, teacher, friend…

You do them all well

 

Find peace in knowing all that you’ve accomplished

Though the struggle isn’t over, you know the way, you have the tools to deal with whatever comes your way

And most of all

Most of all

You have a circle

Friends and family that know you matter

People that owe you and those that just care

People that love you

 

For all that you have not, are not and might never be

You are rich in what you have done, what you will do and who you are

You are magic

I Didn’t Know ’till I Knew

(excerpt from “Letters to Amber”)

 

 I always thought I had a clue…

I had experienced love and all that came with it.

Joy, laughter, sometimes pain, a wonderful glow and the empty feeling that lingers once love leaves.

Turns out I’d only scratched the surface…

I didn’t know ‘till I knew!

 

I thought I was so experienced…

That which I did I was very good at.

I could be affectionate, I can kiss, and I know I gave good lovin’!

I was an outstanding listener and could make a woman just know she had my undivided attention.

I thought when I was in love that I loved hard!

Truthfully, I loved hard when I was doing that which came easy.

I did easy often and hard seldom if at all.

I didn’t know until I knew.

 

I could be romantic, attentive, caring, giving, supportive…

All of that was easy.

Did I mention I was a good lover?

Shiiiiiiiiiiiitttttt. That’s all I need to say about that!

I didn’t know until I knew.

 

And then I met… HER!

In one instant, I realized all that there was that I didn’t know.

That last statement could be confused as meaning I now knew everything I previously did not.

What it really means is that I instantly became aware of all that I did not know, and had to learn, if I was to make HER… mine!

I didn’t know ‘till I knew.

 

This leaves me with a mission.

Learn what is required because that’s what it takes.

If I still don’t know then I better ask somebody.

Can’t ask HER because I might appear unworthy.

Can’t ask HER because I’ll look weak.

Can’t ask HER because… because… because…

 

Another moment of clarity…

 

That’s what you used to do before you knew.

You didn’t ask because you were too proud.

You didn’t ask because you were worried about what she might think.

You didn’t ask because… because… because…

I didn’t know ‘till I knew.

 

So now I learned at least one new thing!

In addition to all the things that came easy.

Do the things that come hard.

Ask HER…

Love HER…

Share with HER, even when you’re scared.

I didn’t know until I knew