|Child Care Prosperity
Books, crayons, and toys...collected
Exhilaration, laughter, and noise...tolerated
Sobs, cries, and woes...heeded
Dirty diapers, runny noses, and stinky toes...suffered
Stacks of bills, sick employees, and endless stress...incurred
Wealth is how some define success.
Ran into doors, ran into walls;
fell to the floor, crawled down the hall.
Swaying as she tried to stand,
to get to the stage she held my hand.
Speech and Debate was never her strength,
forgetful and tongue-tied when she spoke.
But on that day, she ran the house,
chuckles, snickers, and giggles after every joke.
We were funnier than ever before;
as we laughed, the audience roared.
As luck would have it, she knew her lines;
we took first place at trophy time.
|Worth Fighting For
Success, my schoolhood friend, now estranged.
Romance, my native tongue, now foreign--as is English.
All I had once known about language, of the heart and tongue,
is now a twisted and jumbled mess
like riding an endless roller-coaster of emotion.
Mr. Sukany: English professor, now my ESL teacher,
sarcasm and irony his tools for teaching,
a genuine, old-fashioned lover in the classroom,
ripping to shreds any writing presented.
I was sinking in the classroom of a heartless heartthrob,
a dry face rarely graced the classroom, as tears flood our faces.
The anguish of the semester approaches an end,
lacking in hope, filled with utter despair.
My weary, pessimistic finger now scans the gradebook--
a strange new feeling begins to emerge.
Sudden joy bursts from inside as I begin to spell my name:
s-u- -C - C - e- yes, yes!
And love had found its way back again,
no more fears of interruption...
until English Comp II
to fight for my life
|Singing in Strange Fellowship
Smelling the air as we swim in the sea,
all bright under His illumination.
We look up at the sun and down to the moon, before
we swim and fly with fish and birds, and end by
playing with dinosaurs, rhinos, and monkeys.
Exhausting, jumping, and moving,
the tiny child nuzzles his elder,
a foreigner to this place,
familiar in every way.
My shot at state was a 170-yard par 3,
the 5th sudden death. Water to the left,
home to many unsuccessful shots,
an acre of beach to the right,
a breeze of sweet, fresh-cut zoysia grass.
Though I approach this shot with more confidence than Tiger in red,
I hit the ground two inches behind the ball,
dig a divot deep as my groan of disgust,
One 7 iron…
In one moment, a life can change forever.
I sit in this darkened room, all alone.
I see a crack of light under the door.
I see the shadow of footsteps.
They block out the Light,
and I leap at the knock.
|Soccer: Seconds to Salvage My Soul
The mischievous forward runs
down the field, like the devil
kicking a flaming ball. Her
blazing cleats strike
the ground as if trying to
leave her mark.
I focus on the hips,
for the feet can easily
tempt and trick all.
She swings her arms in a
clever way - so fierce,
I had limped away with
Her eyes tell
lies, above these
grow horns of hate.
A smirk - flashbacks of
failure arise, this devil had
stolen my soul.
I can smell a cruel confidence,
as if a supreme spirit
retrieve my soul.
|Life on Choices
A week in the Bahamas
away from home where
horrific thoughts burst in my head
of a place called Hell
souls separated from God
Return to Michigan
now with two homes
sleeping with peace
an acknowledgement of security
a soul with God
Four years in one place with
5-minute passing periods
and twenty-five hundred obnoxious voices
translucent as mist.
Character far and few between.
She knows my name but does
she notice my eyes?
She walks right past me without
the slightest acknowledgement.
Clearly she knows my name
but not the self behind it.
Graduates waver as they walk
through the hallways A through H,
but I, my head held high.
As the diploma is placed in my hand,
my principal looks me in the eye.
|Disc Falls Like Rain
Silver surface slicked by the slicing rain
Dryness only lies beneath his palm
All at once my world begins to whirl
Surroundings I once knew
Fade together in a mesh of color
His fingers tighten their grip
Pressure building every second
Faster, faster spinning release
I climb the raindrops like a staircase
Attempting to pass the treacherous clouds
His hand is only a memory
A sudden jolt
Connecting with the ground
A job well done
|My Feet Have Nails
I am but a tool
A seldom-used weapon
I bring both embarrassment and glory
Today, the latter
Like a vault
My frayed laces provide security
Steady, supportive, safe
I am an extension of my master
Like nails growing from his sole
my claw-like spikes grip the earth
Tear through all obstacles
The instrument of a predator
Chasing, pursuing, hunting
The ground blurs beneath me
Pushing harder and harder
I remain strong
With each step our confidence grows
Seemingly limitless energy flows through me
I sense the end approaching
My counterpart continues its quest
Until across the line we fly
Yet again we’ve passed the test
|Fight when broken
As the semi-truck crumbles me
Broken glass and bent steel break my body,
drenching pants in blood and shattering dreams.
Rebuilding a broken femur with flat tires
trained as if hell bent,
pushing body past present limits;
to move from the side of the road.
Mother’s will brings new air.
“Smart people” in the front row
nervous about walking first.
Feeling all grown up, or something.
Uncontrolled, independent, alone.
Time for college, change of pace.
High school achieved.
Great pride in the stride
while strolling to the governor.
Medal put around my neck
for being in the top five percent.
Shake his outstretched hand.
I waited in the terminal
taking a break from kicking in Phoenix.
Running on fourth down
just to get away from
the sin inside every bite of soggy, cheese pizza,
holding my breath on the dirty, leather seats
and the bickering of the old woman behind me.
my cell stopped me from boarding
and booted me
all the way to Missouri.
|Beyond the Lines of Victory
The static of the PA broke the silence.
Sweat began dripping from my brow
as the rest of my body went numb.
The coach spoke of the blood, sweat, and tears
that win football games…
the same drops of blood, sweat, and tears
that won not only a trophy,
but unification of a team and community.
|The Stillness of the Board
Motionless, I prepare to jump.
The posture and strength of the body,
the readiness of the mind as a leaf hitting the ground. Below,
water swaying, echoing.
A distinct sour smell
like trash beginning to blossom
and salty air pinches the tongue.
Blank stares from people
add pressure to the board,
making it heavy and unsteady,
Back and forth
Back and forth
All that remains is
the stillness of the board.
The Next 50 Seconds
The gun fires.
One leg gone.
Everything depends upon the rising pressure.
Club in my hand, the weight on my shoulders.
The sweat dripping, heart pounding,
echoing in the ears, like the strike of a bat.
The hope of handing off the weight
The switch slicing through the air.
The final stretch. The pressure falling,
the weight shifting.
The baton handed off.
Last night is history
and history is history
Gotta end with a win
Battle of first-round losers
hoping to gain bronze
rather than be given fourth
with third medal in hand
Gotta end with a win
Far away is a boy familiar with death
who seems all alone, surrounded
Far away is a boy full of rage
who batters me with his hate
Far away is a boy broken by mental barriers
that separate his slow mind
from those his age.
Close to my heart is a boy, warmed
by love that comes only
the Alpha Male|
The cub works, becomes stronger.
His strength promises visibility
The jungle echoes with the sound of prey.
The heart races and knees knock.
Instinct takes control
muscles move down the familiar path
The body becomes taunt--
taunt like a stretched, rubber band
Tension steadies the scope
Eyes focus the cross hairs, all else fades.
Then unison screams, booming like thunder
The path has changed
Only the cub and two brown pools remain
He searches the new, familiar brown pools.
I waited for a physical representation of my new identity
and I wanted their applause.
I received a green badge of courage, but
it didn’t appeal to the ones that should be clapping.
It wasn’t the anticipated mark of manhood,
but only the ones with scales, tales and low IQ’s.
I realize my deeds are no less valiant
when they go unpraised.
People treat balloons differently
Like a handicap
Can’t join in
Can’t be accepted
Beginning to shrink
Struggling to stop air flow
Look in mirror
Deflate some more
See the reflection
No more helium
Balloons are fragile
Like a handicap
Months of practice and hard work
All lead up to this one day
Sits on his throne in this big, cold room
Watching me squirm like a child in the principal's office
Tuned to heavenly harmony
Not one lost note
From his throne, like the voice of God,
He says, "Begin."
|Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed
In third grade I walked into a room with
about fifteen girls to recite my verses with pride.
Freshman year was decision time and the work
load would be heavy but achievable.
After ten years I walked on stage with a thousand
eyes on me, flashes going off, and a death grip
on my plaque.
The Big Move |
My heart was burdened
For a place I never knew
I begged for peace
Stubbornly I plunged into darkness
I spent my days in search of sin, but
Your mighty hands shelter me
Hold me in love and comfort
You are vigilant in love
Willing to listen.
I pray, live for you, and obey
Able to see your faithfulness and trust
|Racing for Gold|
From the red track beneath my feet,
I feel the pressure of first lane,
seven other girls behind me.
My fingers were clasped
around the shiny baton.
The footsteps and breathing behind
begin to fade away.
As I turn the last corner,
my legs had no feeling.
Ahead, her hand held out;
I gather my last bit of energy
and give it away.
Short, thick, thin
Four successful hours of stroked birdies
Fairways are wide
Just like margin of error
Shots fall into place
Errors end in hazard
The pin stretch
No room for error
Meet Me in the Middle
Some like to be on top of the world;
others really don’t care.
I prefer to be in the middle
where there is no pressure.
Nobody expects too much nor too little.
As long as you do what you are supposed to do
I could have been an overachiever
or I could have failed,
but in the middle is where I was
and in the middle is where I will stay.
The place I left is warm and safe like a cozy bed.
The new place is like a dark cave.
Sometimes you have to choose the colder place to feel advantage.
I AM on the balcony|
you go through a burdensome life
you feel heartache
you ask life's questions
you guess at purpose
you see the vastness of the sea
you sniff the salt
touch the waves
sense the breeze
you feel the pulling in your soul
you know the desire
you pull up a chair
to join Me
High School Role Model
With votes on my side, I got the crown
Work with others for dances and games
Recruit and paint with spirit and spotlight
Changing by leading, to be the prime example
Rewards too great, memories that last
Wouldn't want to leave the highlight of my education days
|A New Day
The sweat drips down my face
like a popsicle in July.
I twiddle thumbs
Jerk my head at the sound of screeching tires
Grip tightly the “Oh crap” handle
Presses an imaginary brake
Shake with the sound of a honking horn
Not sure my nerves can handle my baby girl driving.
|Coming of Age|
I waited for a physical representation
of my new identity, but still wanted their applause
It wasn’t the anticipated mark of manhood.
I received a green badge of courage
which was what I wanted, but it didn’t appeal to the ones
that should be clapping, only the ones with scales,
tales, and low IQ’s.
Though they cannot show their appreciation,
I know that my worth is not decided by the
recognition I receive. I wear my badge proudly because
even though it dosen’t go with red.
Fear of the unknown causes a timid start
Beginning a measured journey
Signs springing up like opportunities
Not at a steady pace but always showing up
Words leading me towards the end
A form takes place
Building blocks of verses, chorus, and bridge
Closing on the end
Teaching a lesson
The end is reached
Experience is gained
On a musical journey
|A Pawn to Your King to Check
An asphalt chess board on a hot day in Cleveland
we will acquire knights from the 23rd king
who has many followers: powerful knights and scared little pawns.
The knights of the 23rd king only follow
their gold and crimson monarch; they have us in check.
For three days the younger pawns wish for us to stay
to continue protecting them from the evil knights.
On day four, the first King gains a foothold
bringing for some a quick
The inner city filled with worries and regrets,
filled with fears and unfulfilled dreams not met,
black-on-black crimes, people stealing what's mine
In a hurry to find a safety net,
showing tears to win the bet.
Rural City filled with hope and dreams,
filled with a journey clearly seen,
freshman to senior, claiming what's mine.
Reaching my goals, with success on my mind
tears gone, becoming one of a kind.