AlvernoINK Spring / Fall 2017 - Page 128

Goodbye, Baby Boy

Julia Peterson

Be prepared to lose a best friend

Be prepared to lose a brother

Be prepared to lose a soul mate

Be prepared to lose faith

Goodbye is never enough

Say it once at the diagnosis

Say it again when he falls

Say it one more time with his last breath

Say it in my prayers

Goodbye is never enough

It means until next time

It means until I see you again

It means until forever ends

It means until I reach the pearly gates

Goodbye is never enough

I promise to hold onto your favorite toy

I promise to hold onto your picture

I promise to hold onto your memory

I promise to hold onto your unconditional love

Goodbye is never enough

I’m hurting for you


I’m letting you go

I’m setting you free

I’m saying


Little Brown Girl

Lauren Tatum

Little Brown Girl

They don’t know of your magic

Try not to cry

When they make fun of your blackness

Even when they fakin’

The swag your mama gave you

It’s edgy on them

And ratchet when they slayer is you

Little brown girl

Don’t hide your texture

Our ancestors were nappy

They saved the best for you

Beneath these bitches’ stolen swag

Is a host of empty thoughts

And emptier hands

They have nothing to give you

Little brown girl

Nothing to show or teach you

You were made for this world

Little brown girl

You are bold

You are beautiful

You are smart

And you are dutiful

Wear your skin with pride

Little brown girl

Hold that nappy head high

Let those ghetto hips whirl

You are the future

Leave the past in the past

Lost Time: Joyce Williams





Time slips from my fingertips as the clock continues to tick away.

The Sun dragged into the darkness, the night drowning out the day.





The moon shines down and the wind begins to call out to me.



The time never stops,

each second filled with all of these thoughts,

Of things both good and bad but regardless it drives me mad.

All these spirits calling out my name,

Pulling me into the ocean of their lives,

Leaving me clueless to which way is up under the tide.

I feel the wave of hands as they pull me deeper within myself,

Begging for answers, demanding my help.

But what power do I have to save those in need?

If I save them, then who will save me?

No Substitutions

Sam the Poet

I am living a life where I have to have the words


Taped on the back of my door for the days I forget.

I reference it every day.

Maybe if I had been told it more often, I wouldn’t need 80 cent paper to tell me;

Maybe if I truly believed it, I wouldn’t have consistently tried to substitute love with sex simply because I received praise for it.

I’m good at it.

It made me feel worth it.

It made me feel like a gift for once.

Oftentimes, I consume myself in self-doubt and have to have a conversation to bring myself back down to Earth.

This conversation:

There is nothing wrong with you.

It’s okay that you doubt yourself.

It’s okay that you’re bisexual.

It’s okay that you have really smelly feet that you should probably get checked out but haven’t yet.

It’s okay that sometimes you feel worthless and you need your best friend to remind you that you are everything.

And it’s okay that you argue with her Every. Single. Time.

It’s okay that you’re afraid of failing.

It’s okay that you fell in love with people who don’t even deserve to be liked.

It’s okay that there’s always something going on in your life;

That only means that even drama knows you’re the best kind of company to have around.

It’s okay. It’s okay. It is OKAY.

You are not broken.

You do not to be fixed.

You will grow and it will be into something more beautiful and stunning than you currently are.

You ARE a gift: wrapped in paper that has been made perfect just by its association with you.

There is no substitution for loving yourself.

There is no substitution for you.


Joyce Williams

Wake me up when November ends.

Wake me up when the stench of pumpkin spice and turkey disappear from the air,

Wake me when fall transitions to winter and the trees are bare,

when shades of brown turn to white and gray and the sun sinks deeper into the navy sky with each passing day.

Wake me when snow covers the ground,

when the shattered pieces of my crimson heart can be easily found.

Until then, let me sleep away this pain that dwells within my soul,

Because I don't have the strength to move on anymore.

They say that love can undo all damage that has been done,

But what do you do when the damage is from a loved one?

The Keeper and the Prisoner

Joyce Williams

I constantly imagine what it will feel like to be free.

I lay down and dream of the day these chains will break from my body.

I pray for the day these walls will no longer captivate me.

But I can only imagine.

I can only sit within my mind for hours in my imaginary world.

My world full of all my secrets and desires that remain hidden and untold.

They cannot capture me within my own mind

it's only my body that these shackles can withhold.

But only for so long.

The Keeper stalks me with blazing eyes, then rises from her position and stands.

I feel the rage as she takes in the marks and scars upon my body made by my own hands.

She hisses her tongue and says she will be the only one that loves me,

the only one who understands.

But she never will.

I beg for her mercy.

Tears fall from my eyes as I beg to be free,

Screams escape my lips as I plead to be brought to safety.

Anger burns on my tongue as I tell her she could never be me.

She laughs at me and says her soul is not one to suffer from childish envy.

She blows me fake kisses and whispers:

"Daughter you will never be free, release yourself from your imaginary world…

you're my prisoner for all eternity."

But she is wrong.

She is not my mother,

My mother is gone, replaced by the Keeper.

A mother allows her child to grow, to find happiness, and be with someone who loves her.