Writing on the Air Interview

group shot
For my first radio interview ever, I was part of a four-artist panel. Three out of four of us where there because of our participation in the upcoming Austin Feminist Poetry Festival. The lone duck artist with the second best hair, only to my dreaded head, was a documentary filmmaker, searching for his birth mother. I figured there was no need to be dressed up since it was radio. Instead, I dressed for capoeira dance rehearsal, which was immediately after the interview.  All I can say is thank God I looked half decent since the filmmaker came flank with his crew.

radio shotI found the microphone a bit awkward, but that didn’t stop me from posing as if I was reading for this picture! I wanted to get all the “tourist” shots out the way before our segment began. I wasn’t nervous about the interview itself, but all the restrictions: no curse words, no graphic sex, no explicit descriptions of genitals, no calls to actions, no fart jokes. Out of all of them, only the last one had no chance of slipping out of my mouth.

I briefly recounted how I started writing poetry to remedy reoccurring bouts of insomnia. So when I was asked to teach a workshop for the Austin Feminist Poetry Festival, I agreed on the condition my workshop be called “Spoken Word for Insomniacs.” Then I read a rated G spoken word piece, “A Circle Has No Corners,” that was inspired by a conversation I overheard one of my capoeira teachers having and a recent bout of insomnia.

I’ve never taken pills to sleep nor drank coffee to wake up, choosing first to exercise my stress out then later, writing it out. Writing had opened so many doors for me, given the flexibility the medium affords.

Listen to the interview:

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Hamilton Pool

For an area in perpetual drought, the city of Austin and its surroundings have a surprising number of springs. When one of my friends invited me to visit Hamilton pool, she described it as a natural spring in a cave.  Of course I was in! I did a little research just to make sure I could take the proper precautions with my recovering ankle. One of the first and most reoccurring warnings that other visitors to Hamilton pool had recommended was an early arrival.

1 the parking lot

As we cruised near the entrance, I celebrated how we weren’t trapped in a long line of cars. A mere two seconds later, we joined the line of cars. The pool opened at 9 AM and we were confident we’d get one of the 75 available parking spaces. Otherwise, we’d have to wait in the car until another visitor left in the great one-out-one-in scheme of things. Just as we were the next car to enter the lot, the parking attendant stated that the lot may be full. She said she was waiting on the count from the other attendant. I was prepared to mentally curse every oversized vehicle when the attendant asked for our $15 parking fee.2 the restroom

Another suggestion I’d read online was to use the one and only bathroom near the parking lot. From the distance where I took this shot, it smelled pretty ripe. Yet, I bravely approached the composting toilet shack and it stench actually lessened. No trip to the women’s bathroom would be complete without first waiting in line. For a facilities that only had two stalls, as least the line moved swiftly.3 the trail head

From the glorified outhouse, which had no plumbing, just composting toilets and a dispenser of hand sanitizer, we couldn’t see the trail head for the trees. I love when places have signs that direct you to something once you’ve already found that something. I guess the reassurance was nice. 12 hiking shoesWith my ankle brace on and men’s size 8 Tevas (I dislike the women’s since they’re usually pink or flowery), I hiked the rocky .25 mile trail with no problem. If there had been any moisture on those rocks, then the trail would have been dangerous, but this is summertime in Austin.
6 the trailThat trail was bone dry!5 me hikingAnd crowded with everyone who had the foresight to arrive early. Although I knew we weren’t spending but a few hours, I’d packed a camelback and carried my bamboo mat, which folded efficiently small, and some snacks.4 sitting on bench I wasn’t actually tired…just wanted a shot of one of the benches that dot along the quarter mile hike. I figured that some visitors may need it on the way back up the trail.7 Luna & Liz My friend and her daughter posed in front of some impressive foliage and a rock formation.7a the river Some parts of the trail truly made us feel like we were in a jungle.8 cenote crowd Then it opens up to a small, crowded beach on what was touted as the “last free weekend” before most schools in this area began.9 cenote crowd On this day, the water was 78.2 degrees–a full ten degrees warmer than the famed Barton Springs, which is surprising since the water is partially shielded by a cavern.10 waterfall

Some people holed up in an area in the back of the cave. I actually took this shot to capture the “waterfall,” which I had to get really close just to see. It’s easier to look just a centimeter in front of the rocks where the water surface is white. That’s where the water splashed into the pool. We all waded into the pool up to our bikini bottoms. I mostly read where we camped out. Nothing too physically tasking.13 sleeping Luna

Yet the long car trip to our barbecue lunch destination proved to be too much for some people.  We woke her up once we got there!

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Permaculture Food Forests

1 permaculture audience

Permaculture is a sustainable way to grow food. With sustainability in mind, people interested in permaculture think about getting the biggest bang for their buck. The key is to figure out multiple functions for everything, including back up redundancies.

One of the cornerstones of permaculture is to take care of the Earth by conserving soil and water. One way to conserve both soil and water is by making modifications to the surface of the Earth that work with its natural contours. The most common way to do both is to build a series of flat-bottom swales to stop the flow of water to recharge the ground water. Adjacent to a swale is a raised mound, which benefits from irrigation supplied by the swale.

As the name implies, a “forest” calls to mind a variety of plants. So in a food forest, a variety of plants grow together in an area. This is a rethinking of the “modern” monoculture way that food crops are grown. If only one type of plant is grown in an area, then the soil is depleted after a while. If a variety of plants are grown, the soil can maintain its richness. Of course this takes planning. Interactive diversity, planting a variety of perennials and annuals, allows for the maximum productivity for the minimum amount of work. To boost crop productivity, people can do a little more maintenance.

The type of soil, amount of sunshine, average temperature, and amount of rainfall must also be taken into account. Additionally, chickens play a role in preparing a permaculture area. Chicken scratching helps aerate the soil. Chickens pick out the seeds and mix in their manure.

Weeds repair the land since weeds are symptoms, not the problem. If there are soil deficiencies, then weeds will recover nutrients. Weed roots gather nutrients from the surrounding area, making them available for other plants.

After watching the highlights of a video about permaculture, where all the examples showed much larger areas than my sister’s back yard, I asked about what could be done on a smaller scale. The speaker told me that a moat could be dug around the garden. My follow up question concerned squirrel prevention.  Everyone laughed, but I got a couple of good suggestions. The first was to plant “squirrel bribes,” which are things that squirrels love to eat around the garden perimeter and plant the stuff my sister’s family wants in the middle. Another suggestion was to put a mesh fence enclosing around the garden.
2 moringa sapling

Toward the end of the meeting, an audience member announced he’d brought saplings of the miracle plant, moringa.  Unbelievable!  I went from never having heard of this plant two weeks ago to hearing about it for the third time at this meeting. This nutrient-dense plant is a great source of protein, among other things. The best thing, for growers in Texas, is that the moringa plant thrives in hot, desertlike conditions. I’d asked him so many questions about how to grow the plant on an apartment balcony, I felt disappointed when I drove away without one. I’d circulated around the room to talk to people, missing my opportunity to take a plant. The good thing is I have his contact information and spoke with him about presenting information about this miracle plant at the upcoming Austin Writers Roulette “Visionary Ideas” show in September.

As a matter of fact, I invited around five people from this meeting to speak at the September roulette. I feel that if more people heard about an alternative way to obtain food, then we can change the way things are done.

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Water Update

water delivery

The importance of water and the state of my apartment complex is such that I keep at least one 2.5-gallon of water in my laundry room for just such emergencies as I find myself in right now. When I flushed the toilet and didn’t hear the familiar sound of rushing water to refill the tank. A sound that my conscious mind ignores or rather dismisses as “background noise,” where I only acknowledge its absence rather than its presence.  

Seeking a second opinion, I quickly turned on the bathroom faucet only to hear the gasping, dying breaths of plumbing that brings forth no water. On route to the laundry room to retrieve the stored water, I paused for a futile moment to check the kitchen sink, knowing before I turn the handle that dry faucet breath, rather than water, will spew. 

I retrieved the stored water, carried it to the kitchen sink and washed my hands, followed by washing my dishes. About 40 minutes after my discovery of temporary water loss, the Ozarka natural spring water truck arrived to deliver one of my neighbor’s two large containers of water. How convenient!  The delivery guy’s arms were ripped with well-defined muscles. My former Tanzanian students could teach him how to carry it on his head.

Was it just 72 hours ago I’d preached about the importance of water? Less than 24 hours ago I’d shared an excerpt about my Peace Corps experience, which ended with my dilemma that there was no running water. Life is imitating art. Reality means a trip to the grocery store to buy another 2.5-gallon of water. I’ve still not learned to carry it on my head.

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Ignorance Slayer

0 Thom & Drew

This Saturday, I attended my hottest poetry event yet…started off as 90 degrees when I arrived and swelled to 95 by the time I left.

1 Thom & musician

Nonetheless at the base of Philosopher’s Rock and the entrance of Barton Springs…that 68-degree natural waters would’ve actually felt refreshing if I didn’t have another reading afterwards.

2 me

I first explained to the audience that as a former teacher with nearly 20 years of teaching experience,3 me w:sword

I’d declared myself the Ignorance Slayer long ago! With impromptu musical accompaniment, I read the following poem:4 me w:Drew

4.6 billion years ago

Earth started

As swirling sultry gas

Her fiery nature cooled

Morphing into a hot rock

Icy asteroids collided

With their watery mark

Mother Earth developed


A geochemical cycle

After a billion years

Life arose

A biogeochemical cycle

Nutrients recycled

One cycle’s products

Another’s reactants

Nothing wasted

Along come the upstart humans

Newborn babes in the wilderness

Huge frontal lobe full of potential

Toolmakers, empire builders

Environmental destroyers

Tasked to be good stewards

Command the flora and fauna

Our nearly unchecked progress

Created fantastic human endeavors

And spurred demise

Now we arrogantly seek

To save the planet?

And her asteroid waters


Mother Earth will continue

Long after we destroy ourselves

We don’t gather to save her

We gather to save ourselves

From our own self-destructive ways

Our greedy five-planet consumption

As if we have four other planets

To consume

When we poison the waters

We poison ourselves

Everything we do

Good and bad

Has an impact

Mother Earth and her waters

Have existed long before us

The only question that remains

Will our sense of

Self preservation kick in

Soon enough to

Safeguard our natural resources

And save ourselves?

5 Nathan & Drew

One of my friends, who happened to be a DJ, got politely snaked into spitting poetry about saving the Barton Springs water.6 Cool Water singers

One of my favorite moments, came when the “Cool Water” quartet, who sang about water as if it were a whiskey song. As I watched, I kept thinking, “I hope I don’t have to follow them.” Of course, I jinxed myself. Luckily I’d thought about what I wanted to talk about the second time around: my preoccupation with clean water when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer.7 Thom & enviro band

Before I left, I listened to a band that played many environmental songs. The usual lead singer, wearing an orange shirt, referred to me as a “modern, cross dressing, samurai.” I quickly unsheathed my sword and roared, “I’m a woman!” I stabbed him after they finished their set.8 me w:Paul Mitchell sign

I made the leisurely drive down the street to the second poetry venue.  As soon as I walked in, still discombobulated from the sweltering poetry by the pool, a group of people added to my confusion by telling me, “Your troupe just went that way.” Considering the fact that I’d arrived much earlier than I’d told any of my poets to be there, I was quite sure “my troupe” hadn’t entered the building yet. When I went to the bathroom to freshen up, that’s when I discovered the futuristic hair and clothing models. After freshening up, I posed with their sign.9 Anyah intro AWR

About two hours later, the rest of my troupe showed up. The event organizer spoke very kind words about the Austin Writers Roulette and then went down the line to introduce all of us.10 Daniel loves his name

When she got to one artist, she kept stumbling over his name and he kept repeating it with a super-jazzed up Spanish accent. I finally told her that he just loved having a woman say his name repeatedly.

13 brandishing my sword

I introduced myself as the Ignorance Slayer. Many in the audience encouraged me to use my sword, which I said I would, especially on the poet behind me who was heckling me!14 Daniel reacting to sword


Here’s what I shared with the audience:

When I recently conducted an Internet search, I typed in the words “how to make a bomb” and got 170 million hits in half a second, but the words “how to make war” received 763 million hits in a third of a second. The words “how to make peace” resulted in an optimistic 796 million hits in nearly a minute.

So it takes a little longer to come up with 33 million more peace-making ideas than war-making ideas. If the mind is like an Internet search, you’ll think of bad ideas faster during a conflict, but have much better ideas if you think just a little longer before you act. Counting to ten should be the first peace-making idea.

And if you’re really good, you’ll write down your negative, angry thoughts. Even better, you’ll research the conflict.  After all if it’s worth your anger, then it’s worth learning more about. Then, one of the best things you can do is share your results with others. It starts with you. You are the person to make the difference, if only to sleep better at night and make better choices the next day.

Fortunately there are places where people who are passionate about life can share their words. They’re called…poetry events. In and around this Awesmic City, there are weekly, monthly and annual poetry events.

I‘ve been the proud organizer of one such event, The Austin Writers Roulette, a monthly, adult, theme-based spoken word and poetry group for the past three years. I had never organized something like this before. Originally, I started the roulette as a guaranteed way to have an event where I could read and sell my first book, Tribe of One.

The first lesson I learned was people didn’t attend or participate in an event just because I wanted to make money. As a matter of fact, for the first season, I essentially paid people to show up!

Determined not to be a failure, I changed event locations twice, changed my attitude numerous times and focused more on inviting passionate people, whether they self-identified with being a “writer” or an “artist,” to participate in the roulette. I stopped charging admission and starting asking for donations.

One of the most beautiful things I have discovered is the world is full of interesting, stimulating people. Imagine how I was humbled when I discovered that the secret of the roulette’s success was not how talented of a writer I was, but how well I could organize and attract other talented people to join me on the show.

There is power in collaboration. I’m empowered when my voice is heard. I’m empowered when I hear other authentic voices. I may not agree with all I’ve heard, but I’m enriched for having listened.

Some believe that the first person to resort to violence has run out of things to say.  Those who suffer in silence are afraid to speak.  There’s a vulnerability to reading or performing one’s work in front of others. I invite all voices for the small price, in return, of being respectful to other voices. Within the differences of opinion and the expansion of a conversation, collaboration occurs.  We can change the narrative of reality through our participation.

With the energy and hopefulness of a beauty pageant contestant who wishes for world peace, I actively promote the creative collaboration among passionate people.  The Austin Writers Roulette meets every second Sunday at Stompin’ Grounds on S. Congress. Our next show is tomorrow from 4 to 6 and the theme is “Survival Stories.”

Joining me on stage today are just a few of the artists who regularly perform in the roulette.

15 Birdman reading

The next poet read about a dozen poems during his time.16 Daniel performing

The next poet told three entertaining, Southern & Spanish heavily-accented narratives.17 Josh performing

When I introduced the last poet, I told the audience, “If you’ve never done drugs before, you’ll experience it with this next poet.” He stage whispered that he didn’t write about that since it was a kid-friendly venue. I then told the audience that I no longer knew how to introduce him!  He did manage to pepper his spoken word with a little cursing and one F-bomb. I’m sure he didn’t even notice. Wasn’t a problem since no kids were present.
18 hair & clothes fashion show


I’d offered to join the futurist hair and clothes models, but instead, I sat back and enjoyed their creativity. I was impressed that they were part of the education and artist collaboration.

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Blues Semi-Finalists

1 Caution Ankle Injury

For a change of pace, I limped to a downtown blues place that hosted a music competition. I arrived early enough to order a burger that was half the size of my head, but I was so hungry, I ate it all before thinking, “Hmm, I should have taken a picture of it!” Adding to my pre-show joy, the waitress. When I asked her for a sample of the two Malbecs they served, homegirl gave me a half of glass of both to sample. Not one to waste delicious wine, I passed both samples to a friend to try, then combined the two “samples” and ordered the better of the two later on. After eating, I propped up my ankle. When the waitress saw it, she brought over the caution sign so no one would bump into the chair. Talk about service!

2 First Band

The first band was a trio of guys. They were the only ones who did a sound check. By the time they came on, the bar was half full.
3 Second Band


The second band was also a trio of guys. By this time, I noticed that most of the crowd was in the back where the tequila-tasting had snared them. I generally drink tequila for medicinal purposes, so I gave it a pass. Besides, who needs tequila when there’s Malbec?

4 Third Band

I was the first woman to dash into the women’s bathroom after the second band. That’s where I heard another woman yell, “Make it quick!” I came out and met the lead singer of the third band. I didn’t bother to ask her if she was from Austin. I just gave her my card and told her about the Austin Writers Roulette.

5 Fourth Band


For some reason, the fourth band inspired everyone at my table, including me, to give them nicknames: Danny DeVito on harmonica, The traveling gnome on lead vocals and guitar, Gene Simmons on drums and Javier Bardem on bass.

6 Fifth band


Finally, the fifth band came on. They were all brothers. Their parents sat at the adjacent table. All those guys looked just like their dad, who claimed he couldn’t sing nor play an instrument. I’d guessed who was the oldest, middle and youngest child and got it completely wrong!

I’m so glad I wasn’t one of the judges. I would’ve had a difficult time deciding which three bands advanced to the finals. Fortunately, I got to kick back, sip wine, and enjoy the blues. As happy as that event made me, can I truthfully say that I enjoyed “the blues”?

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Ceramic Wine-Glassmaking

1 the beginning

Whenever an event starts off with two goblet-sized wine glasses, I’d say I’m off to a wonderful start! The one made of glass had a delicious Californian blend, the other made of ceramics, was the creative challenge.

2 the end

Although you cannot tell from this picture, I spent an extraordinary amount of time sketching out my design before painting it on the goblet. I designed an “Adventures of Infinity and Negativa” logo, which turned out looking pretty bad…as long as I can drink from it, it’ll be OK.

3 Celebration

I was the first one out of five women to finish; so I had a great time, finishing my wine, promoting the Austin Writers Roulette and polishing off some delicious pizza. At some point, I’m going to receive word that my goblet has been fired by the ceramics expert who hosted this event. It’ll be my first book-inspired wine glass. At least the wine won’t be aware of its container!

4 finished goblet


OK, so the twins look more like a purple octopus and a red popped balloon, but it does indeed hold wine–almost a little too much! Nonetheless, it looks great on my mantle.

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AISD Superintendent Search Meeting 7/16/14

Carver library mtg rm

I arrived to the meeting room for the AISD superintendent search a few minutes early and found the room empty. Puzzling. Just the day before, when I’d mistakenly gone to the Carver Museum, then the Carver library, I’d checked the meeting room calendar to confirm the actual date and time.

By 11:25 am, five minutes before the meeting start time, I went to the front desk and asked if the meeting had been cancelled.  They checked their copy of the calendar and confirmed that the it was due to take place in meeting room 2 at 11:30. The guy even told me that I was early! I expressed concern that I’d sat alone in the room, which showed no evidence that anyone had come to set up the place for a meeting.  After a quick trip to the bathroom, I returned to meeting room 2.

Since I’d come prepared with a spiral notebook, a pen and sat in meeting room 2 alone, I wrote down some thoughts, thinking of how this experience was indicative of why things don’t improve faster for public education.  If this had been a meeting concerning an educator molesting students, then parents would be here. Representatives from AISD, perhaps with their legal staff, would be here.  Yet to discuss the hiring of one of the key employees of the district, no one besides me shows up. I know I’m not the only one who cares. At other meetings of concerned citizens gathered to make a difference in the pursuit of the best public education of kids, we all somehow feel like pockets of educational activists.

After 10 minutes of journaling, I whipped out my smartphone. I brought up the AISD website with the intention of getting a phone number and letting someone know exactly what I thought of their community meeting. I saw a link for “Superintendent Search.” Clicking on that, I saw another link for a schedule of meetings. I discovered that all meetings from noon to 1:30 would take place at an AISD building for all three days. The Carver Library wasn’t even listed. Fortunately, I was only 12 minutes away to the next location, according to GPS.

I arrived to the meeting location site, where several other meetings/workshops were taking place. After an Easter egg hunt with an AISD board member, we located the room. I was hot. Not the, “Woo-wee, we’re in Texas in the summertime” hot. I was angry black woman hot. Someone offered me a small bottle of water. I said the politest thing I could think of. “That is not the drink I’m in the mood for.”

As I signed in, I vented my frustration about the meeting room mix up. A woman in the know, whipped out her master schedule of all 15 superintendent community forums and assured me that the meeting was at noon at the Carver library–30 minutes later than either the library or I knew about. Much after the fact, I learned the facilitators for the Carver Library meeting had been 10 minutes late due to traffic. No one from the community had shown up. I had been the community member.

Instead, I was one of 12 people, including the school board member, a headhunter consultant and a couple of AISD central office people. The meeting was positive, even the constructive criticism never entered the angry zone I’d been so accustomed to when attended by mostly teachers and parents–those of us on the frontline of interacting with students. Those of us who could put faces to the data that drives the illogical strategies, which may work well for business, but not for the business of educating kids.

The most positive contributions I could make were 1) the district needed a superintendent who collaborated and 2) had improvement strategies for special education and English Language Learners.

Nonetheless, the meeting was beautifully conducted and the conversation flowed like warm, spiced wine with only 12 questions:

1. What do you consider as the significant strengths of the school district? (Most praised the improved attendance and graduation rates. I kept quiet since I no longer trust educational statistics because I understand math, especially math corrupted by political gain. Too much temptation to cheat or play jazz with the numbers. Improvisation is wonderful in music, acting, poetry and other forms of art, but not crunching educational data.)

2. What do you feel are the positives of the community? (We praised things like no state tax; thriving business and arts communities; diversity of culture; oasis in the middle of TX)

3. What are the issues and challenges specific to AISD? (As a group, we came up with lack of money, growing population of students, special education, and English Language Learners.)

4. What words or phrases would you use to describe the qualities you would like to see in a new superintendent? (I drove home the word “collaborative.”)

5. What is the leadership style you would like to see implemented by the new superintendent? (I stated we didn’t need a superintendent to pull the evil stepparent act of talking down to the community and trying to change everything on his/her own.)

6. Given the changing dynamics of public education, what are the critical issues the new superintendent will face? (We all agreed everything ultimately rested upon the shrinking budget.)

7. What are the necessary changes that need to be made for AISD to be more successful in student achievement? (One woman repeated the superintendent needed o get the money back for education!)

8. Are you satisfied with the direction of the district? (Why or why not?) (Can’t remember what the others said, but I voiced concern about the extreme top-down management.)

9. If you could help develop the new superintendent’s first 100 day entry plan, what would that include? (I wrote that the super’s first question at any meeting should be, “How may I best serve you?”)

10. Is there any other information you would like to share concerning the community, school or superintendent position that would impact the search process? (Several were concerned about the $300,000 salary offered and whether the super would see his/her role as long term, at least 10 years.)

11. Do you have questions regarding the search process? (At this point, I waved a piece of paper with the steps of the process outlined and asked, “Isn’t this it?” We agreed that it was clear cut.)

12. If you have any names of candidates you would like to recommend us after the meeting please…(I stopped listening after that.)



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The 14th Painting’s Done

Day 7

In the 14th painting, the twins have entered the quantum matrix of choices. Sometimes, abstract things are harder to depict. Having the freedom to show something any way I want to means that it’s challenging for me to narrow down the choices. Within the chapter, I talk about the “pathways.” I knew I’d depict those pathways as unpainted lines.

The hardest part was deciding what the rest of the painting would look like. I thought  a matrix should be primordially simple. But not like a black hole, sucking things in. More like a place full of energy and possibility. Didn’t take too much time to come up with a vagina. And since it should be full of light, the twins must be silhouettes.  As a matter of fact, painting the twins all in black made creating number 14 the quickest one I’ve completed since I didn’t have to get the fine details of body parts “correct.” As soon as I learn how to apply that lesson to future paintings, without making them all silhouettes, that’s going to put me at the next plateau.

In addition to that, I’ll have to get more serious with the manuscript. I think I know what needs to be done: edit more than a few sections daily. I need to discipline myself to read at least two chapters at once. That way I can tighten up the story.

All 14

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Courageous Journey

She squared her shoulders

Defiance in her eyes

Dared him to touch her one more time

It wasn’t a threat

But a promise he didn’t want fulfilled

She’d marched too far to be denied a place

Not the best place

Not his place

But a place

A place she knew she had the right to be

So, touch her one more time

The first shove came as a shock

The second because she’d resisted

But, she warned, a third time would be his ass

Shove her out of his way?

She moved when she was ready

Not away from him

Nor because of him

But toward greater opportunity

When the time was right for higher ground

She moved swiftly

Like a huntress tracking game

With the gracefulness of a dancer

The skills of a warrior

Each athletic move well-practiced

For nothing did she possess

Had she not earned

She heard him treading heavily behind her


Life of privilege had not prepared him for this

On his own

Couldn’t touch her now if he’d tried

He who had been given everything

Ill-prepared against those who struggled for anything

Privilege won’t help him now

No one’s above an ass whupping

Whether life beats him down

Or she does

The only thing separating him from one by her hand

Is her sense of civility

Push her one more time

And that option

His safety barrier

Is off the table

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