I was hoping to write something new, but what I'm working on is not ready. So here's an old poem that was published at a once-cool Web zine called Can We Have Our Ball Back. Now, I think they're defunct--every time I go to their site I get porn links and pop-ups.
Happy Poetry Thursday!
In kindergarten, I was the only one with afro puffs.
The only other person at school with a hairstyle even resembling a fro
was my dad when he picked me up at the end of the day.
They were stellar long before I knew who Angela Davis was.
My hair was parted down the center into two clusters,
one on each side. Mom used hair grease to oil my scalp
and comb out the naps, with barrettes holding them in place.
Afterwards, she used the afro pick: a short straight metal comb
with that muscular black plastic hand in salute. To me
it was cold steel that looked like prison bars,
but there was always that fist high above the bars grasping.
We watched Sanford and Son and Good Times
while fixing my hair, and I knew Wilona kept hers
in her purse. I’d see them sticking out of the back pockets of blue jeans
belonging to the neighborhood kings and queens.
It would be much later before I attached faces to those fists.