Mama Said I Cain't Have No Company

Black Poetry


We learned Ebonics early. It

came with milk and cookies,

came like a sweet roll melting

in the mouth lasting a lifetime

and never forgotten.


It was a part of the funeral, 

like flowers. A part of eternity

in a wooden box. Learning to speak

was hard enough. Learning to

speak another way made the sense

of confinement touchable as a

crib's ribs.


Speaking in tongues was the way

to speak without being overheard.

Thought was muted or spoken behind

closed doors. Reality seldom

passed the lips. Ruthless silence

devolved to self-demeaningd where

saying a feeling was absolutely

forbidden. Unable to suppress the need

to say, cursing became the venue

for conversation.


Reinforced silence inevitably

damaged the will to say anything.

Scripted against the conditionings

of no, we mastered the art of saying






Author's Notes/Comments: 

From Womanchild Manchild (Revised 08-25-19)

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