If I Don’t

Someone asked why I write

If I don’t


If there’s no

Pen to paper

Fingers to keys

Then I won’t know

Who I am

I won’t continue to

Figure it out

I won’t remember

Reading Psalms

And singing hymns to him

While he laid on the hospital bed

Draped in a gown.

How I screamed

Into the towel

When the pain of seeing my scars

Spilled out

And had nowhere else to go

Or how the sun beams puncture the shades

And the weight of him pins my legs down

On a Sunday morning and my mind

Is on a loop

“Let this never end.”

When I stepped off the stage and

I didn’t believe

It was over

And I wanted

More talking, More listening

About the written word

When I was surrounded

By Black Women

And we were Supernatural

The freckles on my mother’s face

A solitary kiss on the cheek from my nephew

The ache I have that I am not sure

How to ease

Because I haven’t reached out

If I stop


If I don’t


Will I forget it all?

Will it unravel?


And I won’t be able to to hold it all together








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