ISSUE 7: JUNE/JULY 2017 / POETRY

“Black Boy: Joy and Tears” by Monique R. Harris

Black Boy, when I came home
I saw a little black baby boy
lying in the arms of our mother
JOY
Black Boy, when you fell and hurt your knees
TEARS
Black Boy, when you flew down the street
riding the back of my wheelchair
or when you grew and we flew down the street in a car
JOY
Black Boy, when I left home and sight of you everyday
because I needed to leave and live my life
TEARS
Black Boy, when we hung out and talked about the little people
and how we respect them
JOY
Black Boy, when people gawked at your dreads and condemn you
without knowing who you are
they should feel your heart
TEARS

Black Boy, when we cruised to Santa Cruz
you tilted my wheelchair down steps
so I could touch the sand
even though your back twinged
JOY AND TEARS
Black Boy, when I phoned you
and Mom could not wake you
I screamed, “Please try!”
but Mom could not wake you
TEARS
TEARS
TEARS
34 tears for 34 years
for Black Boy
JOY FOREVER

 


Monique R. Harris is an African-American woman born in Philadelphia with cerebral palsy. Her poetry, stories, and artwork have been published in Wordgathering, Magnets & Ladders, Pentimento Magazine, and Seeing Beyond the Surface. She lives in Emeryville, California with a developmentally disabled adult child.

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