Thursday, May 04, 2006

Junkies Have Families Too

Lawanda came running in from gym:
Nisha's in the bathroom cleaning up
because she smells alkholik

Huh?

You know, alcoholic!
She picked up a can
spun around and now she smells
alcoholic.

Meaning--
she smells like old beer
which is what she dumped
on her skirt and shoes
twirling back from the littered field.
Back in class,
she resourcefully covers up with some flowery
body spray, now smelling
of beer and gardenias.

We move into a discussion of culture
as we compare life for women
in our neighborhood to life for women
around the world.

All cultures have family...
I begin.

Junkies don't have families Dejene yells out
Junkies do too have families! Lawanna retorts
Everyone has a family

Everyone has a family--
people bound to us
no matter what our choices
drugs or beer at parks
people who have their eye
on our left ear
even when we're wandering aimlessly
down the street

To my lost little girls--
may you find family.

The kind that will
stretch out their hands
across miles
to help you grow tall
a spiky rose
in a dirty field
littered with forties and vials

may you be
the strong ones.

3 Comments:

Blogger snowsparkle said...

"may you be the strong ones"
love this line, love how you bring these powerful concepts to these girls. you are one they will remember for the rest of their lives. so sweet of you to share this with us!

9:38 AM  
Anonymous anna said...

em.
this is such an affirmation of beauty. such a tribute to what should be. thankyou. for bringing the outisde world in. and bringing a little bit of what could be to those girls. family is created - sometimes- in the strangest of places. it is a thing that for so long i took for granted. thankyou for reminding me of how valuable it is. i love you sister.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

em. i am in my classroom in our empty school crying right now.
i am so glad my girls are coming to you next year.
you will take care of them, and, as their mother/teacher, i can breathe a sigh of relief.

you rock so much.
you really get them.

5:56 PM  

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