In the courts, in the pavilion
in the center with my God
Behind the gate, as His daughter
Sings and sighs, with letters and
chatters to her Father.
I am telling Him stories
and He listens patiently
Allowing my laughter and
Amazement fill His room.
He talks with me in a steady
gentle voice called Forgiveness
and wipes away my tears with Grace.
He corrects me in His Mercy
and I sit up to play a new song for Him.
Is it passing your belief that God led me to cross the ocean at such a young age, to expose me to the love and art of sound that you know so well?
Was it only the angel’s clumsy coincidence that I swim through turbulence, only to immerse in books and stories that equal my conversation with you now?
Even recently, do you overlook the orchestrating of the Great Conductor, who removed things that served as my distraction, only so I could focus on our own wandering thoughts?
Have I come so far, to be devoured for one weekend and be delayed in time?
Would I wait, Beloved, until your work produces enough satisfactory paperwork for you to file? Would you wait, Beloved, until I am equipped to make the same drive you do?
All the while, are we busying ourselves with sensibility, and sacrificing the life that is “ours?”
How much longer do we have?
How many points do we each need to earn?
How much of each other’s cares must we take seriously, before we act?
Have I already made the promise and not told you?
Am I so foolish or faithful to do so?
What is Honor to me, Beloved? Or status? Or title?
Haven’t I grown beyond that?
Haven’t I grown to fill it?
What are presents and rings, flowers and chocolates, that show me my importance?
Would it be knowing you breathe deeply in the night and your knowing that I wake slowly in the morning?
What have I to study but righteousness?
What have I to sing but patience?
What have I to plant but devotion?
What have I to write but love?
What have I to listen to but your promise?
You choose how to honor me.
[Originally written 7, September 2009]
Cleopatra in the quiet
Bathsheba on the rooftop
Backseat weapons keeper
Of your leather with your guns cocked
Be I Eve after the serpent
The harlot at the gate
Clutch me with my skirt up
Breathe hard and heavy
When you wake
Sugar sure between my hips eh
Summer salt lust in my throat
Mark your fingerprints in places
In my spaces down below
From your pocket
Pull up right behind my question
We been jamming justice
For an hour
Come undo my disposition
It’s a little nasty and I love it
You answer thick and ready
For the storm
Forget that other birthday cake
I keep this batter warm.
** ** **
It was an uninterrupted time.
Before emails and cell phones and separation.
Before complicated conversations, more than 3,000miles apart
About how next year is a better time to come and visit.
He would hold my hand, around the block.
Cherry Street, where it curves, and we pass by the neighbor’s home with the high gate.
The dogs hear us chatting and they’d bark
Then my soul felt like it was in danger.
Because I was six.
I would keep walking with my father
Who held my hand and kept his stride.
He’d walk me past the gate, with the barking dogs
And talk to me through the noise.
Sometimes I couldn’t understand him
But I always knew his voice was there.
Our conversation would change after the gate.
After the barking dogs, we had to talk about something new.
Tangent and unrelated, but still very important.
I would hear the crickets again
Singing from the thickness of the untamed grass
Those sounds could only reach my ears a certain way
Because I was at the height and age to listen.
He smoked in the evenings
With cigarette in farthest hand
I can’t remember if the smoke ever reached me
Anything on the other side of him
Couldn’t hurt me
He might have even paused on his answers, to exhale
But it’s hard to notice that when you’re next to a moving tower.
It was easier to love my father because
He didn’t correct me.
I didn’t have to grow up under his rules
Our only restriction was distance, occasional pride and politics
Would my decisions have been different
If we walked a few more times
And I told him new stories
Through the noise of dogs in my adolescence?
Maybe it is better we fell short
That I don’t have opportunity to outgrow the evening walks
Avoiding the charge-off, that it was a waste of time and breath
And step and wisdom
I’d rather have memories cut off at six
Than extend them with images of my trying to escape his presence at sixteen.
Now that I’m older
Walks are still special
Uninterrupted talking time
To stay close to the ground, every step a clearing experience.
Maybe it’s because I’m a Virgo or some earth sign explanation.
Maybe because it’s a time I can talk to God
And still feel like I’m going somewhere.
I mold this to my understanding
That this fragmented memoir
Is infused with love and acceptance
Because I am at the strength and age to write it.
“My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” Psalm 45:1
I can’t explain it, Baby Girl,
..why the calls get infrequent and it’s weeks with no word.
I can’t soothe it, Baby Girl,
.. you’re longing for father’s touch when you wake from a bad dream.
I can’t comfort you, Baby Girl,
..that you won’t feel lonely when your friends argue with their fathers and the space behind you is empty.
I can’t announce it, Baby Girl,
..when your maiden name changes ink to another gentleman’s and we hope that he’s 25% more than..
I can’t complete it, Baby Girl,
..when he orders your pizza with sausage instead of extra cheese..because he doesn’t know.
I can’t forecast it, Baby Girl,
..that the reality of your statistic is that your success rate is cut in half.
I can’t secure it, Baby Girl,
..that you can’t trust him to be on time for the daddy-daughter picnic, again.
I can’t clean it, Baby Girl,
..to kiss off those tears when you come home with no guidance from a broken heart.
I can’t prevent it, Baby Girl,
..when those lions seduce you and his voice isn’t there to guard your livelihood.
I can’t correct it, Baby Girl,
..because the image of his carelessness is scolding you with blind and disregarded love.
I can’t bring it down, Baby Girl,
..how you adore him and he’s bigger in your heart because he’s not in your every day.
I can’t account it, Baby Girl,
..how his latest minx is now the object of his affection.. and time.
But I will tell you this:
Loneliness and solitude have their own catharsis
And your only release is through God’s channel.
God answers any man’s shortcomings, including your father’s disappointments
Photos of your baby days, Discipline of your teenage years
Will amount to fierce argument of your womanhood.
In all the things I can’t do, Baby Girl, your Heavenly Father has positioned your prayer, experience and character so you can say:
“For all they did cast in of their abundance but she of her want cast in ALL that she had, even all her living.” Mark 12:44
From those letters
From those lies
Out of that smoke….I write.
I’m sure that choice to blow him up over text
Was wise -Now you checkin your phone every three seconds
Addicted to little red light
To see if he said something back
Man, I wish you was that
Ready when the boss books and church service
Come calling, for your attention
Instead, you battle ready for this dude, to get the last word in
You rah-rah righteous bandwagon on the feminists
Programmed to complain ‘bout how these men cant keep up
Excuse me, single lady, 2 checks from going broke,
You’re a statistic with nice make-up
Who u think u’re preaching to
With all the regret that you carry?
Remember, you took the ring off
And tried to learn me
you’re proudly divorced
doesn’t mean you were married
Rather be young, warm and hopeful than experienced, bitter and cold
Sistah sistah, now u stressing
Your issues gettin’ old
Because even your wild and ugly friends are spoken for
Whats the problem?
Clothes, a car, a job – you been a lady and a whore
Aren’t you the whole package but no one’s trying to lock it down?
Must be them, can’t be you
An issues queen without a crown
Yea I get it
Theres always something wrong with them out there
Babydaddy’s got too much and single men know too little
None of them can keep up with your riddles
You go to work and vent your worth
Complaining omg on ur facebook
Post a picture with ur titties out
Talking ‘bout u got a “new look”
Get the kids in some these fotos
They make it look wholesome
That’s all right, it’s the new online you
Even ho’s deserve redemption
Been two hours and this good-for-nothing dude
Is not responding to your tantrum
And your pride wont say im sorry
Psshh, he triflin’
he two seconds from getg deleted
It’s whatever, he aint sh@@ but
You didn’t really mean it.
So the next time you start puffin up, heated
rough temper Static texting on this dude
talking about, ” I don’t need him”
I can be ur friend or be real:
Sistah Sistah, yes you do.