The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood

Jerel by Nichelle Johnson

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My Nephew’s teeth are straight
like swans in a row
better than ducks
pretty target for foe

I worry about his beauty
is his grace what they seek to destroy?
does he have Emmett’s eyes?
Trayvon’s smile?

No child’s nightmare
What triggers the hunt?
is it their hunger, or
our blood?

My nephew’s teeth are straight
like his back when he walks
no longer a toddler
too late to teach him to bow

How did he not bend?
With the load of Emmett
Or the burden of a smile erased?
How long do miracles last?

 

 


Nichelle Johnson is a writer who rediscovered her passion for poetry after taking part in the Tongues of Fire writing workshops at the Audre Lorde Project. She was a part of that workshop for three years. After a blocked period, she began to be a regular participant of the Women Writers in Bloom Poetry Salon (WWBPS). She has featured at the 2 1/2 year celebration of WWBPS at Bluestockings Bookstore; the Glitter Pomegranate reading series in Brooklyn; and the Rainbows Across the Diaspora Reading series at Dixon Place in NYC. Her poems have been published in The Voices Project, La Bloga and upcoming in The Wide Shore: A Journal of Global Women’s Poetry. She makes a living by consulting as a Database Manager.

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