Spark

I am a
tumbling
fumbling
mumbling
bumbling
mess.
With a spark inside
brought to life
by a woman whose joy breached pain.
More than a learned skill,
A choice.
A choice she made to sacrifice
her physical comfort for me
in life and death.
She gave joy to me.
Now this spark stays &
I am a
burning
flaming
blazing
glowing
mess.
An unwavering human mess.
Happy to share
my Mother’s Joy.

Bouncy Room

             My Parents owned an impossibly high and wide bed. To my nine year old eyes, the wide bed was like King Arthur’s bouncy castle, it was magnificently sprawled across the small Master bedroom, filling the entire room and leaving little room on either side. The room was the bed. My parents’ bed was my place of refuge. It bore the perfect ratio between comfort and substance that my bunk-bed would never accomplish. Who needs a floor with space when you can bounce, roll, and flip to where you need to go? I would scramble onto the foot of the bed, my sisters squeezing on either side of me, and prop my head in my hands. We’d stretch as far as our limbs could go in our limited bubbles. We would watch movies on my Parent’s tiny TV in our t-shirts and eat Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn with extra butter. We’d spend hours watching Aladdin, Belle, and Hercules in a world we conceived in our minds existed somewhere. My Parent’s room was where my family and I would sing together because the walls of the room emphasized our harmony. My Parents’ room was also where my sisters and I would listen, on edge, to Daddy talk about his adventures as a Corrections Officer. My sister Alleyah was always the first to slickly swipe Daddy’s glowing handcuffs and leisurely cuff and un-cuff her hands while he told us his story of the day.

        Daddy would come home exhausted, looking as if he had never had an ounce of sleep in his life. When he kicked off his shoes and flopped down at the head of the bed, a sudden animated spirit would revive him from his restlessly dormant state and give us our news for the day. We would hear about men who taunted guards, men who fought other men, and men who were just plain insane. We would hear about the crimes they committed and the crazy things that some inmates did to pass the time. The rise and fall of his voice matched the motions of his hands as he gestured the story into life, ushering the story from his mind before our eyes. He would censor the stories, shielding our eyes from the severity of life outside and behind brick walls. Although I was attentive to the stories, I mostly looked forward to Daddy’s animated face and his booming laugh that erupted from his belly and seemed to interrupt him mid-word.

Even Saturdays, when I often tested the strength of the soles of my bare feet on the earth of our back yard, I could hear Daddy’s laughter fill the universe. In me, it confirmed and ingrained a feeling of place. Here, wrapped in the arms of apple and pear trees, away from the rowdy, intrusive Brinkley Road, I was safe to do anything. I knew where I was in my family. I was the eldest of four kids in a family of six. I was my sister’s adventure doctor and my baby brother’s diaper changer. I was my Father’s little girl and I was my Mother’s diary of secrets. All that mattered was where I stood among the most important people in my life.

      The grass in our yard was green and full of rabbit holes. My sisters and I would carefully run around, being careful to land our feet like astronauts on the moon. The holes led to the unexpected, and in our minds, either led to a twisted ankle or a trip to China. The trees that surrounded us bore a story themselves. The previous owners were an old married couple who planted their own food and were married for a lifetime. They had been the original owners of the brick rambler and raised a family in my home. I often wondered if their kids ever climbed the trees their parents grew or peeled the bark off the base of the apple trees as I would often do.

       The yard was electrified with lively fireflies at night in the summer. I felt as if these bugs had invaded the solitude of our open yard, disturbing an unspoken balance. Although I was logical and knew that the living light bulbs could not harm me, I never approached them without a pair of gloves and a jar. When I encased them in the glass, I was not filled with some awe-inspired feeling of wonderment. I was glad I trapped the “bugs that won’t stop following me.” I fell asleep in comfort knowing that the Lightning bug inmates couldn’t harm me or my family with no way of escape. I was the unspoken family guard. 

10 things that saved my life

1. Growing up

I appreciated getting taller…that’s it.

2. Puberty

Not to be confused with “Growing up”. Puberty was what I called a “miracle”. There was not a single thing (EXCEPT one thing *coughperiodscough*) that I hated about puberty. My boobs became pillows and my hips became the perfect place to rest my hands when I was tired. My new-found hips also worked as the perfect door opening device. I loved the changes. Sports Bra’s became my best friend.

I didn’t really care about acne and I was never really self-conscious about my body. I loved it (probably more than most). The thing I loved most about my new body was that it felt like my new body. It felt like I was turning over to a new chapter in my life with my new super-awesome body.

When I first stopped looking like my old sixth grade self, my first thought was,” I can’t wait to stick a wad of cash in my bra!”..

Why? Because it is the best pocket ever. Think about it. If I ever get robbed, would the robber think that my money is in my bra? not likely.

Thank you, Puberty. 

3. Music

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”

-Bob Marley

Nuff Said.

4. Poetry

Poetry. I’m no the best, I’m not worst. I discovered that this was the easiest way to express anything. Whether it be the smallest appreciations or the biggest turmoils, I always had away to release my emotions.

5. Dancing

I’m what is referred to on Awkward Black Girl as a Rhythm-less Black (Watch ABG Here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIVa9lxkbus)

I gave up on having rhythm years ago. I dance like Elaine from Seinfeld and I don’t care. Not-caring was the best thing that ever happened to me.

THIS IS ME: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xi4O1yi6b0

6. Laughter

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAWAWAWAWWW!!!!

I laugh like a cackling witch. I throw myself anywhere and everywhere when I laugh.

I laught at everything. LIFE is funny.

It’s so Fun 😀

7. NOT wearing Shoes

They’re way over-rated. I try to go shoe-less as often as possible…

not a fan of socks either.

8. Balloons

Bored in the house? Try playing an intense game of balloon volley ball in your living-room, and the floor is made of Lava! And YES, I’m technically an adult…

http://www.tv.com/shows/raising-hope/watch/living-room-balloon-ball-1954666/

9. Crying

Great release. Especially when you haven’t had a good cry in quite a while. You can cry out of sadness or joy.

10. Aluminum Foil

It’s like clay, but it never dries out. It covers my food and makes a great sword. I’ve fought many-a dragon in Pillow-ville with a foil-sword.

11. Screaming

Ok. On the count of 3, you and I are both going to scream to the top of our lungs.

3….

2…..

1….

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You feel that? Then you know exactly what I’m sayn’ 

BTW, you should probably go hide somewhere if someone called the cops (:

-Manny