Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 148 - When

I remember ponytails and the red Tupperware container 
That held rubber bands and barrettes
I remember hating to be dressed like my little sister who is four years my junior

I wore a frown cross my forehead so much 
Ms. Magee, my kindergarten teacher told me it would become a permanent part of my face
I remember inquisitive was my first favorite word

I remember being afraid
Afraid of dogs
Afraid of men
Afraid of being skinny and girl

I remember Marcus pulled a gun on Tara and me when we were walking home from school
We were all sixth grade babies
I remember wondering how he got a gun
I remember being too afraid to tell
I was too afraid to tell too many things

I remember my mother picking her Afro in the bathroom
My pretty mother
I remember my father washing his car on the front lawn
I remember him sending me to the corner store with a note
Instructing the cashier to give me a pound of hog head cheese and zig zags
I remember coming home with hog head cheese and zig zags

I remember Ms. Marquez, my fifth grade teacher was always mean to Joney C.
I remember when Joney's mother died
I didn't understand how mothers could die with children still in school 
In seventh grade my friend Alicia died 
And no one told us why
Alicia, with her brown eyes and puffy ponytails
I remember going with my grandmother to so many funerals at the church
To this day I hate chicken
I hate soggy cereal and wet hair in the sink
I love how freely I can use the word hate
I remember when I felt guilty about not loving everything
I hate things
I love things
I choose

I remember not being able to choose
I remember all the times I didn't choose myself
I remember when I finally did

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