My Precious Little Gift

By SM

I’m grateful for my daughter
Just as much as a farmer is for rain in Texas
I love her more than bees love honey
I love her because when I look at her
I see an innocent little girl
That I can show more things than my peoples showed me
I am grateful for my daughter
Because when I watched her mother give birth to her
I realized that life was as precious as a VVS diamond
Or a AP Rolex
I need her more than I need oxygen in my lungs
I love her so much that if there was a scale
I would break the scale

The Love for My Daughter

By SM

The love for my daughter is so strong
That if the San Francisco bridge was to collapse or break apart
It would put the fallen pieces back, holding it together forever
The love for my daughter is so bright
It could brighten the world like the sun brightens the morning
Or the moon brightens the night leaving no dark spaces on the face of the earth
The love for my daughter is so precious
It’s like holding on to a diamond necklace heirloom
That your great, great, great, great, great grandmother gave to your mother
And they passed it to you and said,
Never take it off, it will protect you
The love for my daughter is so unique
It’s like your first pair of Jordans you got on your birthday
That you never wanna mess up, so you step light
It feels like you floating or stepping on clouds gliding across the big blue sky
The love for my daughter is so important
It is like having Barack Obama in the mall with hundreds of secret service agents
And the street blocked off for miles, letting no one in
The love for my daughter is so powerful
It would resemble a punch or a haymaker being thrown by Iron Mike in his prime
The love for my daughter pushes me so hard to do great by her
It’s like Jackie Robinson in a baseball game that nobody wanted him to win
And doing everything in their power to make him lose
But yet he still found a way to calm his mind
Hit that home run and win the game

Family Picture

By LC

After Slugg: A Boy’s Life in the Age of Mass Incarceration by Tony Lewis Jr.

There’s something missing with this picture
As I wake onto a random day
In a random hood
In a random city
In America
I listen
Listen to the voice of my mother
Shouting down the bickering of my
Little sister and little brother
But there’s something missing
So I look
Look to find my auntie on the couch
With my baby cousin in hand
Look out the window to find the neighborhood junkie
But he is not the MAN
I’m looking for
See that man has been gone for years
Gone from this family’s struggles
Gone from being this family’s muscle
Gone from this family’s daily hustle
Ironic that I used that last word
‘cause HUSTLE is what got him sentenced
To no return, L.I.F.E.
So my father is what’s missing with this picture
My uncle too
And to every other black child
In a random hood
In a random city
In America
I’m just like you too.

Speak Child Speak

By MS

For my daughter

Speak, child, speak,
hold not your tongue because the question that you ask,
the answer that it brings may be the solution that saves us all

Speak, child, speak
Because ignorance is not bliss,
it is apathy to the mind.
It is the residue of stagnant thoughts that destroys itself fully
with the passions of time
& stagnation is death to young & old minds.

Speak, child, speak,
your voice may be the one that touches the world & shapes reality
into a paradise that women, men, & children may grow & peacefully live in.

Speak, child, speak,
Because my voice is old & un-remembered.
It is the weeping in the bowels of coffin ships & it is the creak of rope & wind
& silent kingdoms swaying in a sultry southern breeze,
it is the shackles of falsehoods binding me to inferior thoughts of mental slavery,
It is the sound of a fast life lived & lost in court rooms
silently weeping in cells trying to escape my self-created hell.

Speak, child, speak,
Because you are the Grace of God & the Dreams of a Nation.

SPEAK, CHILD, SPEAK

A Living Death

By  TTB

The worst pain I’ve ever felt
was looking at you, reach for me
through a video screen and I couldn’t
touch you; right then, I knew
what it felt like to die, a living
death—

A poem from a father to his youngest son.