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.


A Frustrating Conclusion


Been asking God for something for quite a while. So long, that I literally grew sick and tired of asking, actually,im still tired of asking. I’d decided, that I was going to stop asking. He never gives me what I ask for, so why bother. Funny thing is, He ALWAYS, unfailingly gives me exactly what I need when I need it. Its almost as if a specific prayer is completely off limits. Grateful, disgusted and frustrated dwelled inside.until
Been asking God for something for quite a while. So long, that I literally grew sick to my stomach and tired of asking. I’m still tired of asking.

So, I’d decided, that I was going to stop asking. He never gives me what I ask for, so why bother. Before I committed myself to the ‘completely ungrateful’ category, I examined the many wonders performed within my own life.

In doing so, I realised He ALWAYS, unfailingly gives me exactly what I need WHEN I need it. Every single time God manages to blow my mind.

Knowing this, leads me to conclude that this particular item is completely off limits. Though I am grateful, disgust and frustration also dwell within.
I gave up.

You know what He did? The VERY next day, He sent me a friend. Unknowingly, she breathed life back into my prayer. A prayer she knew nothing about, and one I no longer cared to entertain. She encouraged me. She spoke not to the flesh of me, but the entity within. She gave my will enough power to carry my sickened stomach, my frustrated faith and hardened heart to prayer once more.

I Never Know What To Say

My thumb sits in the ready position. Ready to hand you the keys to my every thought. But,
I never know what to say.
I never know whether or not to say it.
I never know when to say it.
If I keep my words, the ache will grow.
If I let them go, I worry that the feelings would not meet reciprocation.
Long is so lonely but so true.
Plus, it feels better just to say, I long for you. Holding my breath hoping my heart will stop beating.
Waiting for you to say, yes, we can do what I asked.
I never know what you’re thinking.
Your.silence is baffling.
My patience is getting antsy.
I never know if you’re on the other end sitting in the same position, wondering the same thing.
Because you are so unwilling,
I keep my feelings.


“Another Black man gunned Down. Rally to be Held Downtown. She stared at the paper for several minutes examining each word in the tiny paragraph. She took careful time to ball it up real tight, and tossed it back on to the ground.

They must be out of their rabbit ass minds. She thought. Hearing the clicking of her own heels. She had subconsciously switched her stride to auto pilot. 

She found herself almost a block from where she had found the flyer.

She saw men and women passing out the flyers. Protesting, rallying standing She saw a bunch of people straddling the edge of the road and covering the side walks listening to a man speak. There were a force of people. Some still, glued to every word that spilled from his mouth. He was a handsome brown fellow. His voice commanded the crowd. He had the masses shouting raising banners, and clapping whenever he made and oh- so valid point. She stared at him intently, but she couldn’t hear him. What he had to say wasn’t important.She could only see him and admire the way he handled the crowd so beautifully. She grew tired of watching the crowd she she did what she could to push past them. Trying to make it to the other side. She was already an hour late for work. She had already decided to use this crowd as an excuse for the hold up.

“We have to help our people! We have to rally around them they need us! Our children need us! Our communities need us. No justice, No peace. We can’t do it without you, the people!

The girl rolled her eyes in disgust and continued making her way past the crowd.

she noticed the same man who was on the podium was now directing his bullhorn towards her. He had said something, but couldn’ make out what was said.

“Excuse me. Are you talking to me?

“Yes I am.”

“Ma’am, I couldn’t help but notice that when I said that black men need your help, you rolled your eyes. When I said our children and our communities need us to stand behind them, you immediately dismissed my message and dare I say look disgusted by it. May I ask what issue you ( being a sistah) might have with my language?

“I am late for work.”

“I understand, but if you are already late, taking a moment to explain won’t get you there any earlier. She paused for the moment. The closest ears in the crowd were listening, While other parts of the crowd was now under the spell of another speaker.

She felt, as if a fireball of anger had began to grow on the inside of her chest. She grabbed the bull horn from the young man’s hand.

“You say” fear clogged her vocal chords and her voice did not rise over a whisper. She may never get another chance. She tried again.

I do not believe in supporting the black men I do not support you and I will not support you all. In fact, It is my belief that this rally that you are having in laughable. A tragedy happens to a black man and suddenly, the entire community is supposed to rally behind him. Stick up for him support him as you would have it Mr. Speaker man March for him, love him protect him. Yes I rolled my eyes and stomped my feet, in protest of you speech, and for good reason. When was the last time our so called black men protected us? When was the last after he stuck a baby in the belly of a black woman and ran off to be with his white family did he looked after his community (family)How many families are left broken and lack because men refuse to be men? Black men leave black women to fend for themselves everyday. And now that they are being attacked, bloodied and beaten into the concrete, they want us to rally behind them. They are most comfortable when we are around cheering them on, but when it comes time for them to love us, to provide us with what we need, they are no where to be found. They are somewhere laid up with the white woman who was deemed well enough to marry.

froYou, black man give our praises away. We come with everything you need yet, somehow, you seem to find fault in it. From the curve or our hips to the naps on the nape of our neck. Yet you turn around and get a lab-made version of the real mccoy. Wrap it in silicone and call it Preference. Your greed of women has made you too weak to commit. You sow and sow as If you have nothing left. To give or to teach. Our front lines of protection have been abandoned only thing left are boys and girls (tiny images of you) left to bare arms, and continue wars you started. Figuring it out as they go along. Black man, where is our stability? Where is our love where is our strength? Where is our community?

You have long since severed the obligatory ties of the black man to the black woman. This is not our fight.

Lightening Discourse

I’ve been searching for you since 12.

Before I knew what you were, or, could do.

I’d lay in my bed and imagine.

My joy shocked with new life.

Arrows fly with intent. Careful not to bend.

A clean miss.

My thoughts hidden, with you in a realm of love


Once a crush now in full bloom.

We met, a time or two. Probably too long for you to remember I had once given you everything; time, energy happiness…It wasn’t enough

Thunderclouds form over our heads

We split. Two highways leading in different directions.

Never stop believing. We will meet again. Then, we will be ready.

After all these years

My heart still aches at your.

There, nothing has changed.

Thoughts keep my spirits new.

One more time.

Will you let me?

Bury my face in your chest?

Hide me from the stresses of the world?

Let me slide my cheeks over your warm skin.

While I listen to you tell me stories about the lightening that rises and falls from the sky

Feed my mind with your thoughts about nothing, but something

That is everything.

This, is happy, This is home.

Hold me tight.

Before you leave again.

If I had to be honest, I would probably die alone. Though I am sure many have endured harsher things in life, I ask, is there anything worst than experiencing life with the absence of love? With the absence of a companion. Denied the opportunity to give up and receive every bit of energy you own, physically and mentally. To roam this earth alone, unattached and then die with an empty heart, is not just a fear of mine, its one of saddest fears I have ever encountered.

A slow, silent death, one of the most torturous kinds. To know more about the darkness than the light. Craving the sun. Light fades from the skin.

Quicken my spirit. It matters not where the touch comes from as long as it isn’t a figment of my imagination. Even patience in this fictitious realm grows weary of recycling the same thoughts.

Love was better than this. It was supposed to be happier, frequent, easier. Can’t get right… Marriage proposals flying off shelves like free two for ones at the local chicken and waffle joint.stars

Big and boned, hand in hand,

hopscotching in the spring.

A bird met a bee.

A frog became a king.

I asked the keeper of destinies if these things were anywhere in the cards for me. He’s still looking. I don’t even know if He brought the right deck. SMH. My patience has melted into a thin layer of penetrable ice. More sad thoughts, more pressure, leaking faucets spiral out of control.

Favor and its reciprocal are obviously operating on separate wavelengths. Did I read it wrong? Is the answer in braille? I gaze at the stars, watching the positioning of my feet, checking for the great big white X, or maybe it’s big red button. Hoping my blessing will bust through the atmosphere like Superman and fall from the sky in meteor-like fashion. I will so wait.

But for how long?

I hear the universe has the ability to conspire. Will it ever agree to a tangible happiness? Will it agree to time? Time to love, laugh, kiss, and lay? Will it agree to make me forget the decade of dead years? Will laughter smother the tears causing me to forget? If  time won’t turn back, perhaps it will agree to stand still. Just until… Then let it begin again. Complaint won’t kiss these lips. But gratitude will gladly lick them.