NaNoWriMo #25 (Rambling to do)

Racing through my head are hundreds of disjointed thoughts. It’s like a to do list that needs prioritizing.

Remember, teach your young son how to handle authority ASAP:
Never run. Don’t make sudden movements. Show your hands, palms toward the officer, all fingers visible.
Don’t walk with your hands in pockets.
Don’t look menacing (even when it’s painful to falsely smile).
Don’t laugh – – presumed mocking is dangerous.
Avoid unfamiliar neighborhoods, and never linger in your own.
Obscuring your face for fashion could get you confused with another black boy. Flashy clothes, accessories could be seen as weapons’ metallic flashing.
Be careful.
Let’s face it, it’s safer to stay inside.

I think: Justice is not blind. It wears magnifying glasses that see color, but blur other factors of consideration – of common sense.

I pray: My black child won’t be seen as a threat to peace, to society, to the institution, to life. Thrive. Dream. Reach. Achieve. Become. It’s what every mother clasps hands together and asks of God.

I wish: Things weren’t always so hard. It doesn’t have to be easy, just not so seemingly impossible. Is this test ever going to end? Don’t I deserve a chance to see the results?

I wonder: When will I find the time to complete this project? Finish that book? Start that dream?

I want: to feel fulfilled. to be appreciated. to find affirmation…

window haiku

Blue bricks surround me
if I had a window here
I’d watch life evolve

seasons shifting soon
fallen leaves covered in snow
white blanket hides all

then, I’m suspecting
the bitter cold will subside
as sprouting buds break

suddenly, color
inviting escape outside
enticing climate

heat quickly becomes
pervasive, yet so welcome
lazy freedom days

(Written while in my classroom 11/18/2014)
** inspired by Mama’s Losin’ It Writing Workshop

NaNoWriMo #10 (ending near)

I woke when she did. She lay on my arm, nestled against my chest. Her hands tugged at my shirt. “Mommy!” she insisted clearly, before continuing in a garble of sounds she is convinced are words. I checked the blinking phone. Sixteen percent charge. Twenty minutes had past since the alarm, which never sounded.

I nudged her from my arm to the bed before jumping up to fumble through my closet for suitable attire. What might one wear at the end? Black. Don’t stand out. Be comfortable.

I brush my teeth, my hair. Paint my face, noting the increasing lines around my eyes and the darkened circles that never seem to fade. I’m joined, then, by the littlest, who reaches for toothpaste and mumbles. The tween comes in stealth-like, whispering good morning while searching for eye-liner she’s not supposed to wear.

And then, it’s time to go. I nod at the teen, sitting on his knees at the end of his bed. I blow a kiss to the husband now busy helping little one with her brushing. I holler for the man-child to let him know my unfinished coffee is his for the drinking.

Unfinished. So much yet to do, so much still incomplete.

Along the road, time seems to slow. I see with absolute clarity the rustling trees. They toss their leaves, which cascade in a gentle dance to the ground before floating up again with gusts of wind from passing cars. The street shimmers, still wet from yesterday’s rain.  A truck revs up beside me, its driver invisible in the still dark morning.

I stop to drop off the teen.  She hugs me then. “Don’t be a hero, mom. You should call out. We care about you.” Her hold on me is firm, hot tears wet my neck as I comfort her with strokes of her hair.

“I’ll pick you up from school, like always. Meet me by the soccer field.”

Ma follows me outside, drawing her coat tight to shield herself from the bitter cold.  She lingers by the van, while the dogs tug in opposite directions to begin their walk.  “I love you,” she mouths, offering a smile.  She stays firmly planted in the driveway as my car lights pin her with increasingly softer glow.

And then I am driving along an empty street.  Lights are eerily green, sending me forward without delay.  The radio hums, but the songs are indistinguishable, unremarkable, unnoticed.  I turn the final corner into the parking lot, and Robin Thicke belts out, “For the rest of my life…” as I turn off the engine and he is silenced.


SWF: Crossed love

Love is blind, this I see
(Cross my fingers) I cannot lie
Truth be told, here’s the line:
You are my always, forever more
From this day on, I vow
Loyalty, fidelity, this I solemnly swear
(Cross my fingers) I cannot lie
I’ve hooked you good, good catch
Here’s the line, it’s a sinker:
Bound you, ring around the finger
Cuffed dreams together in promises made
(Cross my fingers) I cannot lie
Befitting of fables, the moral is:
Blind faith sticks in deceit’s web.

**prompted by the Six Word Friday‘s theme: cross.

NaNoWriMo #9 (Innocence)

I’d like to pause that moment in time. That moment when the little boy – pale skin flushed red in the autumn chill, brown hair tousled in his scurrying, big eyes bright with wonder of the world – still looked at things without judgment.

“My dog’s not a puppy,” he said with a smile. “He’s three!” The word rolled off his thick tongue like tree, and he took great effort to convince three chubby fingers to remain upright as he trapped his pinky with his thumb. He couldn’t have been more than four, himself. He looked at me, and began to rattle on about his dog. His mother, eyes wide with something akin to horror – – or was it disgust? – – gently urged him away. His father tugged the dog’s leash and quickly continued along the path away from my group. The couple spoke to one another in hushed whispers as they hustled further and further still.

Moments prior to our seconds-long encounter along the trail, the boy’s parents had seen our little entourage ahead of them. Three of my children, my mother, our tiny Grigio on his leash, and me were slowly making our way back to the parking lot. When they saw us, the man halted, jerking his happily trotting dog as he tried to avert our paths crossing by returning the way they’d just come.

“It’s okay,” mom had said happily, as she scooped Grigio into her arms. “I’ll pick him up.” They hesitated – that deer in the headlights pause – before slowly, begrudgingly pressing forward.

Our children – both sets – smiled happily as we drew closer, oblivious to the tension. It’s amazing, really, how young people are blissfully oblivious to prejudices of their parents.

A lump had formed in my throat, but I returned the boy’s ready smile. “Oh, three? He looks so young,” I responded, eying the puppy-faced dog as the boy patted the caramel-colored fur on its head. Stone-faced and silent, the parents continued their now-purposeful escape away from us.

As he was quickly led away, he turned to walk backwards and continued to chatter, raising his voice to be heard over the increasing distance. “Well, bye!” He finally shouted, turning to catch up with a fast paced trot that matched his parents fleeing.

“I can’t believe they were going to skip the trails just because we were coming along the same path,” my mother said in a hush meant only for me. “Why deprive themselves of the experience? Clearly their dog didn’t mind ours. He didn’t even notice.”

“I think they minded us, not Grigio.” I said what she chose to purposely ignore.

“Yeah, I know.”

NaNoWriMo#6 (Fleeing notice)

He stumbles into the classroom, arms and legs flailing. I search for his pursuer, as surely no one would be so flamboyant in entrance without being chased. But there is no one seeking to capture him. No one, it seems, even notices he is here.

He sits hunched over a notebook at his desk. A few illegible lines scribbled in a feigned effort to begin his day’s journal entry are being feverishly covered by purposed strokes of his pen as he sketches some mythical character all over the page. It’s as though his brain said “waste not, want not,” and recycled the space for expressions he found far more important to share.

As the block progresses, he continues to slump in his chair, occasionally pushing up glasses that slowly travel down his nose as he stares at his art piece. His book bag rests on the floor, carelessly tipped so that disheveled papers protrude from the disordered interior. No folders, binders, or other such containments house his work.

The bell rings. Quickly, he jumps from his chair. Swinging the open back page across his shoulder and adjusting his glasses once more. He retreats into the hallway – – traveling with his torso at a forward angle in a purposed speed that is unnecessarily harried.

At some point, he realizes his homework was due. He wraps his knuckle on the closed classroom door, interrupting his teacher from whatever papers she’s busy grading. “I… my work… here,” he says in a timid high-pitched whisper, shoving a slightly crumpled paper toward her. And then, huffing, he withdraws from the quiet learning space and into his own private world.

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