Tag Archives: parental abuse

Stand. Still.

Head back.
Chin up.
Feet shoulder width apart.
Knees bent slightly.

Pull those dreadlocks back.

Tendrils of distraction.
Aren’t they dirty?

Now breathe in slowly.

Feel the air fill your diaphragm.
Your chest expands.

You have control.

Hold for ten counts.
Now release slowly.

Let out the smell of Dad’s breath last night,
Whiskey bruises and bloodied lips

In through your nose.
Quick. Fill up. Short stop.

Out through your mouth.
Concentrated. Deliberate. Mindfully.

Each smack of the belt,
slicing into your back.
You’re the slave here.
He’s finally master.

Flip to page 2.
Second bar.
You’re the star here.
The star in your own show.

Always have the inner smile,
So your song won’t ring flat.

You’re in control here.

Ambulance flashing,
Hand hanging over the side.
Blood drips from pointing finger.

Don’t attack the words.
Tease them.
Let them melt on your tongue.
They should be as sweet as she as.
As this song is.

As you should have been.

Your losing your count.
You sound flat.

You should be better at this.
Your people are good at this.
Do you play bass?

Practice your breathing.
Haven’t you been breathing?
Don’t you realize the very existence of every man
Hangs from the whoosh through your pursed lips?

You should spend less time singing
And more time cleaning this house.
Earn your keep.

Hasn’t it dawned on you,
Every flat note,
Is a tear sent up to the heavens.
We should be bringing them a joyful noise.

Lift your chin.
Shoulder back.
Don’t lock your knees.
Deep breath.
Fast, quick, deliberate.

Less time singing.
More time finding a man.

There’s no time

To keep teaching you these basics.
Do you even want to be here?
Do you want your voice to soar with the angels?
Do you want to be great?

Try harder.

Your inner smile isn’t glowing.


Because you’ll never find release.

Years later when you’re bagging grocers
At the corner store,
You’re going to wonder if that one
misspent night.

That one note that cracked against the bridge of your mouth
Scraping your tongue in its offense,
If that one was the one

That lost every thing for you.

The scholarship.
The respect.
The curve of your youthful body
As you have child number 4.


You have control here.


Filed under My Poetry