Black boy brown

with sky in his

head dreams world

without violence

Multitude of ancestors

cradles me to sleep

when the

gunshots rang like church bells

The siren squealed a death knoll. Circus lights approaching the madness of a chalked

gingerbread man who ran away from home into the safe arms of his homies. Now his

blood streams red like a river current searching for a mouth. The tin and brine captured

the night air. Sunlight streams marked with dark spots warn not to cross this line.

The news crews

point their camera


Witness says Keyshawn was always such a nice boy. He helped her

bring in her groceries

on more than one occasion.

raised money to help.

those in West Africa for the Ebola crisis.

earned straight A’s at that all white high school.

on the Northside.

Black boy brown

with sky in his

head dreams world

without violence


Nostalgia (Inspired by Momma Brenda’s* “Take Me Back”)

I remember when my days were carefree and all I had to worry about was me

And if I had one cent

It would be spent at Ms. Johnson’s store on a bag of a penny candy filled with Strawberry Chews and

Fruit Punch Frooties

Now that one cent is going towards the rent

Because every penny counts

I remember when I was ten

Waiting for summer to begin

So I could ride my Schwinn

Down the brick hill on 99th and Longwood

Feeling those bumps underneath my seat

I had to repeat

Now the road is paved and smooth like any other road

I remember when I was thirteen

The Backstreet Boys posters plastered my wall

So thick I couldn’t see the paint

Now baby blue provides background for Sheros, like Margret Cho and Ursula Burns, questions and

I remember when I was thirteen

Mr. Robinson entered my eighth grade class

Taught us about Maya Angelou

Then I knew poetry was for me

I stood in front in of the crowd

Though I didn’t make it past the second round

It was a good place to begin

Now I rock mics from coast to coast

Been at Soul Speak, Soul Restoration, Libby Elementary and Mays Elementary, Rainbow Room in

Memphis, and even been on TCMRadio.

I don’t mean to brag or boast

But this is what I remember most

About Back in the Day.

*Momma Brenda was a well-known Chicago area spoken word poet. Her poem “Take Me Back” has a similar theme to :Nostalgia.”

Chirskira Caillouet, award winning author of Honey Licorice, captures the human experience through written and spoken word, teaches children, and cares for her family. She lives in Beverly.


Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *