Crying on the phone to my father, I yelled out in agony as a bird with split wings, an actress with crushed dreams, and a blood stain with no intention to be cleaned. I’ll never forget this day.
It was a beautiful Sunday night and the breeze was just right, and I smiled as if I were a child with a new toy that didn’t have a worry or fright. He took us to seven eleven and bought us each a coca-cola slurpie. Little did I know this day would cause the hurt within me. He sat us down on the bench and looked me and my brother in our faces and said “I’m not coming back, I’m not in love with your mom anymore, and I’m getting remarried in nine months. I’m sorry, and no matter what… I’m still your father.”
Now as a child I took this horribly I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t know what to feel, I didn’t know what to think. This is why I turned to the bottle and began to drink. I spiraled out of control a teenager with no goals, no ambitions, and no purpose worth living. I was the definition of a wandering soul with not an ounce of love and a sense of forgiveness.
I didn’t give a damn about nobody but myself, a young teenager all alone in this world by myself. My mother couldn’t help me because she couldn’t even take care of herself. I had to become her for my little brother. I cooked and cleaned and fed him like I was his mother. From home to home we went. We lived with other peoples kids, sharing the same meals wearing the same shoes. I was becoming a statistic to society, living the life that most povereshed African Americans do. Nobody knew that I would grow up to be bitter and just as my mother face the same blues. I would continue in this pitiful cycle and date the same dudes, as was the case when my face lay blank next to his shoes.
I went looking for love in all the wrong places. I went looking for a father figure replacement. I fell into the hands of a boy that I thought I knew. We progressed as a couple and our relationship grew. I was so far gone into this relationship I no longer had control over the situation. I gave him all of me I defined the word dedication. I would go out of my way to sneak out the house against my mother’s will. However nobody could tell me nothing, because I had I had a mind made of gold and a heart made of steel. I did everything I could just for an ounce of his love and affection. Even though it came with extras like BITCH, HOE, and SLUT at his discretion.
But see there were things I knew about him that nobody else knew. He was a victim of the life style that I was accustomed to. His dad abused his mom when he was young. Therefore he sang the same blues that I sung. His dad left him when he was thirteen. He had no direction; he was like a loose leaf blowing on an unstable tree. He sold drugs, got expelled from school, and life had hit him full throttle. His dad nowhere to be found and his mom heavy on the bottle. There was just so much we had in common. So to be honest this wasn’t the boy I once knew. I remember crying to him screaming “what kind of people have tormented you , it’s like I don’t even know you “it was too late you were already scared. He was not the same boy that I came to love and adore. I think it was his anger. His rage. His yelling. His harsh slaps. His hands wrapped around my neck. His temper that would run our once pure relations into the floor. I stayed in that treacherous relationship for three years. So many nights my face was soaked with tears from the verbal abuse, and the non meaningful excuses. I never knew the word love could have such misusage.
Nobody knew that me staying in this relationship was a plea for help. I thank God that I wasn’t brainwashed to death. With all of his harsh remarks he made me loose me. And even though I was numb to the abuse I knew I didn’t want to feel like this permanently. I tried to replace my father’s absence with this so-called teenage love affair. I thought that maybe I deserved that kind of treatment even though I knew it was unfair. However in the type of home I came from that’s what loved ones would do: yell, scream , and leave you. They would pretend to love you and then deceive you. They would show you signs of love but only to mislead you. This life style was all that I knew. There was this never ending black hole that I fell into, and I wish I would have had a warning sign that told me what I was about to get into .
Being dragged down the stairs by my hair is when I had my break through. As my legs flipped and flopped on each stair, he held me firmly by each strand of my hair. I laughed, cried, kicked, and screamed. However nobody in that room came for me. He threw me on the floor and called me names. This time it was different though. I didn’t feel like I was to blame, for his jealousy and rage. I locked myself in a bathroom, as I was trying to figure out what to do . My mind went blank I couldn’t figure out my next move. When I finally came out he had calmed down. He apologized as we went through the motions of an abusive man who beats his women down. He convinced me to let him take me home. So much happened that night that I didn’t agree with or condone. He gave me a hug when he saw that I started to cry. He held my face and told me “I cant promise that this will be the last time.” this is when I woke up and used my mind. I realized I don’t need these men in my life to help me fail. I don’t need these men in my life causing me to loose my hair and become frail. I practically praised this boy who wouldn’t even catch me if I fell to pieces. I started to realize myself worth and I was proud to look in the mirror and see this …BEAUTIFUL BLACK WOMEN . I am better than this, I thought to myself, no excuses, no more time to plan, I needed to make a conclusion.
I rewrote my life through the power of poetry; I took all my experiences and compiled them. I AM A NEW ME. My life on paper or spoken aloud, would only show my transformation from the ground to the clouds. My poetry tells my ups and downs without it, you wouldn’t understand the half of it. Although I chose to pick up and move on my poetry is what helped me mourn. Through my words that rhyme like lyrics, I uplift my soul, my being, my spirit. I am a new person thanks to my notebook and pen, I’m not a slave to sin, a human huddled up in a pin, because a stick stuck in mud will not budge or bend.
My poetry cried with me when I was being choked up against the door. My poetry agreed with me when I made the decision to take no more. My poetry book yelled the truth when I asked myself “what did I put up with all this for.” My book is like my poetic blueprint. It caught the story of my life each step of the way as I went through it. I WILL PROUDLY YELL FROM THE ROOFTOPS I BELIEVE IN THE WORDS OF POETRY. When I had nowhere else to turn to I turned to my book. No matter what it was, what I had to say, my book took the pain that I had to endure. Just like the bruises that ran along my body, my poetry spoke words. It told the storey of a lost girl so desperate to be grown, that she suffered verbal ,and physical abuse just to have someone to call her own.
Me and my book are one, now that’s a love that’s safe and pure, and fun. I never realized that l would fill the pages so fast. However, because of my poetry I have a bright future and I can let rest my Past. I can talk with a confidence I never had, I can let my words be depressed, I can let my words be sad. My book is my soul, my heart, my get away, and when I stray away, I never stay away for long, because if I’ve learned one thing from my life experiences, it’s that my poetry is what makes me strong. I want my life story to serve as a guide. Learn from my mistakes young ladies, and reach for the sky. Know that you are beautiful inside and out. Know that you are a queen with a hesitation or a doubt. If you were stuck like me in a never-ending cycle, trust me there’s always a way out. I tell my past and how I almost met a heart wrenching fate. To the girls that feel they are trying to be heard maybe poetry can be your private escape. Know you may look at me differently or frown upon me based on the contents of my life story, but I was only trying to explain what the power of poetry did for me. ( I dedicate this to women of domestic abuse i've lived your story, however its time to open a new chapter)