Black & Kinky Amongst Brown Waves


poem of the week: afterbirth
August 7, 2012, 10:24 pm
Filed under: DC life, family, women

 

one of the many projects i hope to someday realize is a collections of pieces about teen pregnancy and teen parenting from my perspective as an educator and from the perspectives of the teens themselves. all it has right now is a title and some conceptual notes.

 

afterbirth: reflections on teen pregnancy

 

I chose the title afterbirth because it is: beautiful, messy, pungent, essential, necessary, nutrient rich, repulsive (to some) and enticing (to some).

and so the dream begins…

 

afterbirth
© 2012 by margaux delotte-bennett

“you ain’t got no kids?” she asks.

they always ask.
my admission gets the side eye before the
world weary look returns.
she always looks tired beyond her years.
numbly anticipating whatever may be coming next.

a daughter in kindergarten.
baby boy in diapers.
a little girl on the way.

she would look at the other girls in her hood
thinking and sometimes say
“It doesn’t have to be this way.”
but then she sleepily followed along the path
now hers
soon to be theirs too
if they continue to believe that
hope is a form of birth control.

don’t get me wrong.
she is fly.
her kids are clean and well fed.
but she is not well read
and is still unable to finish her GED,
“I just keep getting tripped up on that damn math. That’s all. That’s it.”

we sometimes sit eye to eye
and try to figure out how we got here.
black girl teacher without any kids
black girl student with, about to be, 3
it was not just my degrees that saved me.
that would be too easy.
this is something that a Mensa group may need to break down
and help us comprehend
compute
because  despite all the money and attention in the end
cycles have yet to be broken.

things that don’t need to be, are.
her government issued stroller.
her second hand clothes.
her faded tattoo of a rose
on her neck
no longer smelling so sweet.
she has had to retreat behind that numb look
just to make it through today;
to boldly face next week.

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1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

Thank you for this. Thank you for writing about this epidemic that has no intentions of stopping, only repeating itself.

Comment by jsanschez




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