Storytelling is the most powerful tool in history and herstory. In it, I find respite for the heavy soul, passion for the lackluster spirit, forgivness for the guilty and justice for the disheartened. There is no greater pain nor pleasure.
When I was 8 years old, I was all nerves, with severe claustrophobia and an anxious, dry cough. And not the good kind of nerves you get before going on stage.
She Is Home
I walk through my home with no gold in my pockets, carry no sweet water in my cupped hands Fires rage in my eyes, as I turn up toward my refuge - that red one - in case home doesn’t pan out alright
Home Is a Dream
The heart was cold, but tender known A ma, a lost one, some mixed up children too Unwelcome bond of blood Heads hung low, while quivered pens jot old words, weighty and misunderstood
It was much too hot for September. The Eastern swamp had swallowed up hellfire and held the wind’s breath. It was the kind of hot that made you want to sleep but wouldn’t let you. But it was even hotter in Mawmaw’s kitchen, as Celeste, eight and tawny, tipped a bowl of cut okra into a cast-iron pot the size of Texas, perspiring bullets of paprika and childish angst. The family trip to the Gullah Islands had been cancelled for pa’s dinner.
The Wanderlustrous Misencounter of Milos Verde
Milos Verde liked his job, but wasn’t fond of the uniform shorts, which kept ridding up his backside. He was tall and slim – much slimmer than he’d been in high school – with a mess of brown tresses that fell over his eyes, giving him the effect of a sheep dog. He was in his mid-twenties and had little ado about his youth, as he’d been working so long that he had begun to feel a certain uninvited blanket of monotony fall across his existence and wished to escape his small town of Connecticut.
Paloma Sells Chocolates at the End of the World
A little red wagon skirted across the desert, sand floor, one wheel squeaking harshly in the unrelenting heat. It was almost noon judging by the waves forming over the distant nothingness. Paloma, 10, a little chubby, with coffee-colored ringlets trudged along, slowly, wearily until she came across a Joshua tree and stumbled under what little shade it provided.
Sabastian awoke from a restless doze to find himself soaked to the bone in rain and mud, sitting on a wooden plank amongst a row of great oak barrels and linen sacks of foodstuffs. He reached over, pulling out his rock-sharpened pocketknife and slashed trough one of the sacks, dug his hand in and pulled out a what happened to be a handful of sunflower seeds, which he stuffed into his mouth. They were neither salted nor roasted. In fact, his face soured at the acrid chalkiness in his mouth. But he continued to stuff them down and swallow hard until a coughing fit overwhelmed his throat. Then he leaned back against a heavy oak barrel and took a swig of buttermilk from the cat bowl he’d swiped on his way inside.
All We Heard Were Crickets
An orange-tinted shadow fell across my hands as I placed two pastel-colored conchas and a bouquet of orange and yellow marigolds onto the angel-guarded grave the size of a large doghouse.
Isa woke up to the hum of the generators switching on. On the moon, there were no alarm clocks; just the colony bell, emergency sirens, and the hum. Isa climbed out of the top bunk, rousing her mom, Laura, awake.
My Salt Looks Like Sugar
When I was a kid, my mom would tell me, “Its ok to cry, because saltwater is a cure for everything. There’s salt water in out tears, our sweat, in the sea, and on the towels we use to clean our wounds.”
The Secret Life of Meemaw
In the American South, everyone’s got either a ma or a meemaw. Some people are lucky enough to get both. Mas give you life and choose your school and draw you a future and brush your hair and teach you who to trust. Meemaws cook your food and iron your school clothes and show you how to grow a garden and drag you to church on Sundays; and when your ma gets too tired or angry or busy, meemaws take over all the things a ma should do but can’t. I was lucky enough to get a ma and a meemaw.
HAIR BEADS & DRUMS
“Don’t touch the drum,” said the elder whose name I’d forgotten. I was a girl and girls can’t touch the drum. We were in Potawatomi territory in those days, and if a girl touched the drum it might disturb the ancestors.