Thanks to everyone who opened the pages of my book, From the Beginning, Again. What a feat it was to birth this baby and I'm grateful she's out in the world. One of the first poems in the book is called RUN and I chose it as my first one with the hopes to give the reader a full POV for the rest of the poems they would read. Who is the poet, where does she come from, why has she made the choices in life that she has made, what is she running from and why?
When I wrote this poem, it came out in a flood; a release and an understanding of the universal grief passed down to children through the black-lived experience in America. My grandma was born in the early 1930's and because she was fair-skinned, she was trained to be a maid; she was the one chosen out of the family to go on further for schooling; she would also bear the weight of supporting her family, even at the cost of her own children.
She would become a business woman, the first female certified in the state of Florida with a construction license. She would build homes, make a lot of a money, and eventually lose it all because she trusted the wrong person. Her sons would try fast ways to fix this descent into poverty - only to find themselves behind bars. Her daughters would inherit her work ethic, and would just make ends meet for their children. My grandmother would continue creating estimates and constructions blueprints p for the remainder of her life, with the hope of getting her license reinstated. Her dream was to have a construction company her sons could take over.
Her life ended in Georgia, her birth place - and that final dream was never realized. I watched my grandma become an old lady in her rocking chair watching her shows with eyes still so full of fight but a body that could no longer keep up. I watched my aunts try and the men fail to make their dreams come true - to free our family from the grips of poverty.
I made a decision to be different (my mother positioned me for assimilation) and I would make a path to prosperity for my family - and for my culture too. And I came to learn the hard truth that so many leaders learn -- its just to heavy a load to carry, especially when you haven't made it out yourself.
I ran: to college, to Los Angeles, to Australia, and all the way back to Miami - where I would finally face myself, face my family, face my fears. As I child I saw my family as individuals and cast judgement filled with anger and shame. All grown up, I saw the system that had positioned each us with a role that they were required to play. I faced myself and the role I had been playing to "make it" and I shattered into pieces; for six years I disconnect from self- until finally, something clicked and I was able to find all the pieces of my mirror, put it back together again, look myself in the face and cleanse my wounds.
My book was the healing process. The many points of pain, release, love and joy that make up being human are on these pages. Maybe it will sting a few people - it sure did sting me to write it and let it go -- but I have learned not to regret the past nor do I wish to shut the door on it.
I hope this book offers everyone a place to reflect on their humanity, release and just be ok with being. It's a struggle everyday for me to feel joy, to be happy -- but it takes me no effort at all to be grateful - in that gratitude is where I keep finding a reason to wake up and start the day; another day of life From the Beginning, Again.
Click here for the store to buy the book and enjoy 65 poems on living, breaking, and letting go.