While I Was Down

While I was down

I bought a new white down

Because if I’m going to be down

I at least want the alternative, comfort

Oversized, plush

King fit for a full

Inherited from my grandma who

Shared her love of butter pecan and baseball

Her form of comfort

But this bed is real wood

Probably came from Woolworth’s on Crater Road

So it’ll never break

I’ll never break

She’d cover it with crochet

Then kneel down and pray

But while I was down

I bought a new white down comforter

One with a subtle square print

Because I can’t stand inside the box

Which now that I think about it

That’s probably why I’m down

And why my toes peek out to be free



What’s in your hands boy?
It’s too silver, too shiny
Just clippers sir
A clip you said?
No, hair clippers
To shape my clients
Don’t mistake me for a criminal
I’m a licensed barber sir
I’m cutting hair sir
I’m an entrepreneur sir
I’m a businessman sir
I make others look good sir
I am not what you expect me to be sir
Now, how can I help you officer?
Buzz cut
That’ll cost you extra sir

Statistically Speaking

With a year like I’ve had
I should have drowned myself
Not literally, but at least in cheap beer
Or whiskey, with a chaser of tears
Should have cut off my locs
Gained or lost ’bout 25 pounds
I should have closed up shop
And let the twinkle in my eye disappear
Slipped the pep out of my step
But still I’m here, or so I’m told
And somehow I should have a couple degrees
And a PhD, or not
All while living single and widowed
That’s right, I should be slightly educated
Yet silent as a white mouse
I should have conceived
And as head of house
Held the joys on my own
Broken barriers behind closed doors
Do not expect a thank you
And don’t dare ask for compensation
I should have developed hypertension
And all sorts of bad habits
To sustain my beautiful mind
But that’s just statistically speaking



Y’all come out the woodwork in the Spring
Ain’t helped store food or build shelter from the sleet
Still, you come sniffing around when you’re in heat
Like you have a reserved spot up in these sheets
You with the bow ties
You with the blue eyes
You with the pocket squares
You with the curly hair
You with the tenor tone
You and the cat car you own
If you don’t survive the frigid Winter
Then the garden won’t open in the Spring.







By Demetria Giles

Look out
Cry out
Scream out
Act out
Reach out
Fall apart
Break down
Turn up
Turn down
Sit down
Calm down
Stand up
Soften up
Swell up
Give it up
Suck it up
Shut up
Woman up
Drink up
Pack up
Deuces up
Back out
Move out
Head south
Move on
Drive on
Push on
Pray on
Lean in
Give in
Believe in
Teach on
String on
Wake up
Woke up
Fists up
Look down
Kneel down
Antennas up
GPS down
Traffic ahead
Signal lost
Try again later…


We Wonder

Will life be long,
Will the mind stay strong,
If We never get to love you?

Why every search of the soul,
Why every season and the toll,
What if We never get to love you?

What if the story comes to an end,
What if it’s just about to begin,
But We never get to love you?

Will the happiness sustain,
Will the passion maintain,
If We ever get to love you?

Would he have your name,
Would she have hers,
If We ever get to love you?

We wonder…
What if you never get to love us?

Belay On, Bree

Bree-Newsome-Bring-It-DownBELAY ON, BREE

by Demetria R. Giles

All black gear, check

Sustaining Bible verse, check

Braveheart open-wide, check

On Belay?

Belay on, oppressive history

This is her decree

Free to Bree

No slack now

Tension is in the flag

So she leads the mission

On Belay?

Belay on, Bree

Climb ready, steady to remove Lee

Free to Bree

Bree Prepared

Bree Disobedient

Bree Proud

Bree Brave

Bree Black

Bree Woman

Bree Fearless

Bree Unafraid

Climb on, We.