Lost & Found

It was too long ago to even remember what I had done, that caused me to have to stare aimlessly at the dried noodles stuck to the multi-colored construction paper hanging from the ceiling. Left with only the thoughts of what I was going to do after I was released from the classroom turned timeout corner, I sat there. I sat there until the class came back—until the last kid got nice and comfortable in his seat. I sat there until the teacher started to resume the lesson she had probably prepared the night or a week before. I waited until everyone had forgotten that they had went to recess with out me, and thats when I made my exit to the playground. I had somehow decided that since I was robbed of my recess, I would rob them of my presence during class. Without giving it a second thought, I swung on the monkey bars, and the swings. I played on the merry-go-round. I ran, and jumped in dead silence. This was new to me. I had never been on a playground where the presence of other kids didn’t exist. But still, it wasn’t about the play. It was about the fact that my teacher thought she could rob me, Teneisha Ta’shae Franklin, of having fun! Yes, my father was in the military, and yes my mother was as meanest mama I knew. Frankly, she scared the shit out of me. There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to receive an ass whoppin’. I gladly accepted it, and continued to play in silence.

With the exception of my mother and father, I was the master of my universe. Despite the fact that when I was born my legs bowed so badly, I was prescribed braces to straighten them. It never deterred me. As a nine year old girl, I was fearless. I ran fast, jumped high and spoke loudly. I was confident, bold and daring. I danced, and I laughed with ease. I loved who I was, and never gave a second thought to who I would become.

Somewhere down the line—through the transition of puberty, adolescence, self-esteem, boyfriends, and womanhood—I lost myself. I was no longer that daring child I used to be. The once loud voice had been turned down almost to the point of silence. My speed had crept to a saunter and my confidence had dissipated. What had happened to me, is what I would assume happens to most people—life. But instead of moving on, it scared me enough to run, hide, and barricade myself, inside of myself. Leaving the potency of who I was trapped and unable to escape. I lost myself and lost sight of my own value. Essentially, my fight was gone, and I had died.

My state of being rested far from that which I had grown up with. I come from a family of women—at the top of the family tree were grand aunts, the HNIC’s—who had an abounding love for themselves. Dark skin, big-boned women flourished in our family—the anti-commercialism of the black woman—Gaps, gold teeth, flashy clothes, long, sharp colorful nails, coupled with slick tongues and foul language. And when they all came together they laughed with such guffaw. Ask any seven of them and they would proudly tell you, with their eyes lowered and their necks wound ready to roll, that they were the finest, sexiest beings on the planet earth. Looking at the shell of the person that I was, It was hard to believe that I somehow descended from this group of women.

Once I had lost sight of who I was, it took me too many years to get that sense of self worth back. To do that, I had to pull out boxes and boxes of shit I just didn’t need. I dug through boxes that still had grudges in them. I had a box that had that bad relationship straight out of high school, and that horrifically depressing pregnancy that lead me to have to fight single parenthood as if it were the cancer of my life. That box with anger, unforgiveness, and brick walls…that shit had to go. The sadder I became, the more these things were like anchors to my soul and in my life. So, what did I do? I followed Jay-Z’s advice. I built a bridge and I got over it. It was only after I had done so, was I able to begin to travel the road that would eventually lead me to reclaim what I had lost.

Looking for yourself is no easy feat—battles must take place inside the mind for sure. It’s like that old philosophical question: How does something as small as the mind control something as big as the body? Shit, I still don’t know the answer to that question—It’s kind of like putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. Sometimes you only have to walk a couple of feet to find the next piece, sometime you have to walk several miles, and sometimes you may never find it again. Its just gone. Thankfully, so far, I’ve found the laughter and joy she used to give me.


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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Memoirs


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Wait For It

Wait For It

There are These periods in life ( I call them dark spots) where we lose. Our certainty has left us, and high esteem’s disappeared. The skyscraper we’ve spent so many years building, has crumbled. Most times, when the dark spots go away, I end up finding certainty in the strangest place and realize esteem was just misplaced. When the dark spots hit, crying doesn’t help. Find a bench with a nice view and wait for these things to come back to you.


Posted by on February 15, 2014 in Memoirs


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Truth Is

I could say I hate the world, but that would be a false statement. Truth is, I hate the fact that there is no one in the world that I have fallen in love with and has fallen in love with me. 

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Posted by on December 1, 2013 in Memoirs


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“Remember, you don’t have to throw the

“Remember, you don’t have to throw the brick, but sometimes you may need to show the brick.” ~Barbara Scott Preiskel

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Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Memoirs


Angry Gravity


I can only pray that the disdain that sits in my heart will one day erode.

But for now, I let it fester, just like that sore…

It harden and created an ugly scar.

I hate you.

There. I said it. The only thought that

Manages to arrive the tip of my heart and tongue simultaneously.

Until now I have resisted giving you thought and energy.

Today, I am forced to take notice of what I have successfully ignored all these years,

Your absence, and his needs.

My heart is like thin glass to angry gravity.

Crushed to see the eyes of my eyes suffer from my past transgressions.

Unconsciously, he wears the cloak of generational curses.

Rivers of irritation, and tears of frustration have graduated from flowing, to cascading, to raging, and I

say, I hate him. Or is it myself, that should be hating I? After all, it was me who okayed it because

back then she didn’t hate it. Glass and spilled milk, will always have to be cleaned. For now, there

are monkeys, dancing on elephants, we must deal with.

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Posted by on September 12, 2013 in Creative Writing


‘S’ On My Chest

traditional_superman_symbol___man_of_steel_style_by_randallmaynard-d4x5qqmToday, my son and I decided to partake in one of America’s favorite past times of the 21st century. We went to the movies. But we didn’t just attend any movie––as we rarely do, due to the expensive prices just to see a movie nowadays––we went to see Superman. He has been a favorite of mine since my jheri curl days. I’ll admit it, after the last Superman flop, I was a little skeptical, and tussled with the idea of waiting until it leaked online before watching it. I ignored the second mind and strolled with my first. After all, this is SUPERMAN and to me, he is THE ultimate superhero (Hold your opinions). Before I knew it, I found myself so engrossed that I didn’t even realize the other people in the room. Somehow, I had compelled myself to pull away from the heart-wrenching story to watch the audience. As a writer, I often find myself watching behaviors and reactions of others. I’d usually see a child in awe of the magic that happens on screen, I would see adults and kids alike, blindly grasping for popcorn refusing to slide their eyes from the screen. This time as I watched, I experienced what I’d call a breathtaking moment of discovery.

At one point, Clark Kent this boy turned man, turned Superman, took the time to think back on the days he would indulge in child’s play. He remembered how he’d pretend to be bigger, and stronger than the really was. How he triumphantly, towered over his docile mutt of a dog after an imaginative conquest.

Encased within him was so much power, he had no idea of how to use it, or what to do with it. The strongest man in the world spent much of his life lost. Little did he know that his father, who watched him from a distance, knew the child that he watched all those many days and nights was exactly who he thought he was. The answer. In that moment––of pin dropping silence––we collectively watched greatness, a father, admire greatness, his son. In that instant, I saw how much respect people had for Superman.

Suddenly, I knew why we loved him so much. Its isn’t just because he’s faster than a speeding bullet, and more powerful than a locomotive, and can leap tall buildings in a single bound. It is because of the sacrifices that were made. You see, Superman wasn’t the only hero in this movie. The man on the boat who risked his life to save an aloof fisherman; his mother, who taught him how to hone his skills; his father Jonathan Kent, who taught him patience; and his father Jor-El, who put the last of his hopes and dreams inside of him. They were the real heroes, Superman was simply the physical embodiment of them all while they were his heart. The sacrifice that not one father, but two fathers made so that their seed would grow. And grow he did. Broken but strong, hurt, but resilient. His people had faith that what they instilled in him, be it power, hope, or wisdom; that he would take those tools and use them in the name of greatness.

It was seconds before I realized that I was watching myself. I am greatness watching greatness. You read me right. I am greatness watching greatness. I have had to sacrifice, and there have been sacrifices on my behalf. Like Clark Kent, there are times when I am lost, no guide, no clue, and a faintly beating light. I have learned that I have to trust that the wisdom of my mother, my father, the aching backs and the severed limbs of my grands and great grands, were not in vain. Because of them, I am here. Broken but strong, hurt, but resilient. Turn Superman inside out, and I am he. So, I fought the tears of discovery and again joined the collection of barely breathing people, as they watched a father, watch his son play greatness before he ever really was.

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Posted by on June 21, 2013 in Creative Writing, Memoirs




The Fallen

You have fallen, but you have not failed. Understand the difference? Get up.

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Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Features


They Will Love Us For It

I have been rockin’ with her since 2005. Hats off to Shonda Rhimes. She is a shinning example of God making room for your gifts can do. With only her mind, she is holdin’ a multi-billion dollar company together. Just gaze upon what we can do when we as women stop engaging in baffoonery, and start using our gifts as we were meant to. Thought and imagination are our biggest and best assets. It is a power that will always be valued. Even in the darkness we find our way to the light because of instinct, that thing that lies dormant inside of us. We have a long standing history of people taking and keeping things that are ours,  but we didn’t know because they have had them for so long. Lies are fed to us and we  unquestionably eat them because we were told they are of nutritional value. The circulation of woman and their asses reverberate throughout webpages of my screen. But when I read this. When I seen this article… After witnessing what she is capable of, I see what I am capable of. Its time we put down the pole and pick up our pens, our gifts. Show the world what we can do. And for that, they WILL love us.


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Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Creative Writing


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