It sits there, lurking throughout the day

Never saying anything, but watching intently

Sooner or later it will make its move

It’ll trick you into thinking you’ll have the best night ever

Then when you’re freshly showered, snug under your covers with your eyes slowly closing

It rings the doorbell to your brain while singing the familiar lines, “Hello darkness, my old friend.”

You’re used to this so it’s pointless to fight it

Hour after hour with no sandman in sight

You wait for sunrise to bring an end to the night

Eyes finally close and sleep takes over

Just for the alarm clock to announce daybreak

Insomnia for the win, yet again

I’m going to plant a garden, but not just any garden

This garden will be an ode to my grandmother and the beautiful flowers she had

To the left is where my rose bushes will be

Further down will be the sunflowers, a garden must have those

On the right will be the elephant ears and maybe even an apple tree

Throughout the yard will be sprinkles of morning glories and chrysanthemums.

This garden will be the best garden ever because it’ll be just like my grandmothers

There’s only one problem, I’ve never planted a flower in my whole life and all my potted plants die

I guess the garden will be in my head like the memories of her

I was told that if I traveled far enough I would find the stairway to heaven

Could you imagine a place like that existing

I mean really imagine…

To journey to the top of the stairs and get lost in the clouds

Call out your loved ones names and see their face spreading the white fluffiness the looks like cotton

Reach out your hand and place it gently on their cheek

Watch the smile spread across their face and fill you with the warmth of their presence

Catch them up on all that they missed and wishes of their return to the land of the living

And then all too soon say goodbye for the second time because although the stairway leads to heaven, heaven is not ready for you yet

Have you ever been paralyzed with so much pain that you thought you were dying?

Your heart constricts and blood flow decreases until you are no longer breathing

That’s how I felt when you left

Life was no longer worth living

No longer would I see the depth of the world in your eyes

No longer would my anxiety be at ease from seeing that dimple in your smile

My security blanket, also known as your arms wrapped around me was no longer available

And now I must learn to navigate this thing called life the same way I made my entrance into the world…..alone.

Someone once said that when an old person dies a library burns down.

So you mean to tell me that all that knowledge and wisdom will be reduced to ashes simply because their spirit has left it’s temporary housing?

The walks of my people will now be erased like the rain pouring down to wash away footsteps, is that what you are saying?

Well that is something I just cannot accept. 

My history will not be erased like what was tried to be done to the walls of the great pyramids. 

The pyramids my ancestors built and left messages for those to come that have now been smeared to tell an altered story. 

The story of my ancestors will live through me and the generations to come  because they will be taught to never stop telling the story’s. 

Through me they will know that their roots trace back to Benin, a country in West Africa that once was named the Dahomey Kingdom. 

Through me they will know that my grandmother hid her deaf brother in the trunk of a car and drove from Tennessee to Illinois to escape being lynched. 

Through me they will know that they have ties to the land between two rivers also known as Cairo, IL. Where race wars played a pivotal role in its downfall. 

Through me they will know that their mother and father were soldiers and didn’t hesitate to fight for their country even though many are not so understanding of who they are. 

And through me they will forever say the names Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, Oscar Grant, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, Pamela Turner, Korryn Gaines, Emmett Till, George Stinney, and the countless others throughout history. 

For those names tell a story that will force the world to face a cold hearted reality that many just cannot accept, but will hear because it will never be silenced. Just like the tales from the old person that is no longer with us. 

So yeah, some may feel a library is burned down when an old person dies, but I say it’s built stronger. 

Every time the stories are told another book is added. And after all the shelves are full and there can be no more, more libraries will be built because my library will never burn down.

It’s been 15 years since I stood in your presence, before that I don’t remember.

The memory of you can’t even be described as fleeting, in reality it’s non-existent.

I used to wonder why out of all of us I was left alone without any memories of you, but then I realize that it was probably a blessing.

None of the others have many memories of you and to be honest the ones they have aren’t that great.

I guess the universe did well saving me from years of heartbreak, years of wondering why I wasn’t good enough,and the vision of you walking out the door I will ever know.

All of that I have been sparred from ever having to feel.

It would’ve been nice to have something though. I guess that’s why I reached out for some type of connection.

Out of that strained connection, I got your voice and your memories of the past.

Some of those good and some of those bad, but still there is your voice going back down memory lane for the few minutes you’re willing to stay on the phone.

And once the call is disconnected, I go one with my life as I have always done.

Wondering if it’ll be another 15 years before I’m in your presence again or if that last time was the final.

Last night we danced and it was magical.

You walked in the room and there was no one else but us.

Nothing extravagant, just an ordinary room where you and I were the only two people in the world.

It started slow with us looking into each other’s eyes and then transitioned into a cozy two step as we teased each other with rhythm.

The music changed and we waltz from one corner to the next before moving into a tango.

That tango meant more than we both could ever imagine.

It was during that moment our feelings were on display.

Eyes connecting, body’s moving, and hearts intertwining to the language of love.

Last night we danced and it was magical.

As I closed my eyes, I remember the feeling of floating to another place.

In this place, I was barefoot walking through the woods. Every snap of a twig and crunch of a leaf made my feel as if I was going to somewhere of importance.

The sound of tribal music could be heard from the distance so I follow it until I find the source.

The brightest fire could be seen burning as a man dances around it.

What stood out the most is a woman, her eyes held secrets with a side of no nonsense, she is relaxed and in her element, her locs hang loose and she is looking directly at me.

In my mind I hear her speak her name and her name is Lavender. She looks in a direction and I know to go that way.

Although I want to stay, the journey must continue.

I am now at the bottom of a mountain and doubt I am able to climb it. That is until a grey and white wolf appears behind me growling.

Fear propels me up the mountain and before I know it I am halfway up.

Looking down the wolf is there watching and fear is removed from the equation.

There is familiarity in the wolf just like I felt when I looked at Lavender.

Both play a role in this quest and equally important.

With a whisper of gratitude and newfound strength, I climb to the top of the mountain and open my eyes into my ascension.

Photo captured after my morning meditation

While everyone is sitting at home going stir crazy because of Covid-19 shutting everything down, I’m happily in my home reading books, watching documentaries, and meditating while my children fill my home with the rowdiness that would normally be seen in the outside world. I have my balance. As an introvert, Here is where I feel less drained from being around a lot of people and less of a chance of having that awkward moment where a random person wants to have a conversation about something I know nothing about, but feel inclined to talk because I was raised with too much respect to come off as disrespectful to anyone.

Quarantine life is not so bad to me. I do it with ease because it pretty much my everyday life. Now there are moments where I’d like to go do the little things that I used to like go to Hobby Lobby, go to the movies, or even a random date night with my husband, but even that moment is fleeting. I always wonder if a time will come where I experience a shift that makes me want to be around groups of people and embrace random conversations, but even as I write this I cringe and hope it never happens.

I wanna know love,

I wanna know everything there is to know about that warm fuzzy feeling inside.

I wanna know the feeling of your skin brushing against my arm and the softness of your lips pressed against mine.

Our heartbeats in sync like the best drummers on the drum line as the majorettes dance in the depths of our souls.

I wanna know the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Those moments are what’s going to help define us.

Our story will be greater than any story ever told.

Our children and their children will talk about it for years as the blueprint to what love is.

They’ll talk about how we weathered the storm and went on to live a life of pure happiness.

How you used to hold my hand and tell me to smile because it can’t rain all the time.

How you used to get me so angry only to fill me with laughter until I forget why I was angry.

How we bought our dream house and sat on the porch at sunset drinking tea while the grandchildren played in the front yard.

And most importantly, how when I closed my eyes for the last time, your kiss was the last to touch my lips before you joined me.

And our love, even in transition shook the heavens to announce our arrival.