By Leadra Reeves
This poem speaks to all the forgotten women: the women with stories, with histories. I aim to give a voice to women who should have a place in history and should be recognized because of their struggles and how vital they are to society.
So kinky, so curly, so silky, so neat The way she slicks back her dark brown strands; concealing her roots underneath cakey coatings of clear gel; Rougher than her edges, that brown bristled brush lining her gifted palms is Tougher than her mother who keeps her pledges Not of allegiance to a flag that belittles her but to her four kids she is raising all alone in a neighborhood that instills a bloody cycle in young black lives, no one knows otherwise Than how to make children orphans and have the streets teach them the do’s and don’t of a modernized society She involuntarily inhales crack cocaine like it’s oxygen It’s everywhere, she is choking, Suffocating on this lifestyle Still just a child she cannot part like the part down the middle she traces with her comb Her hot comb that is bigger than itself Her hot comb that is a society uncooked, unseasoned, unflavored Her hot comb places an expectation on who she should be So she runs it through, burning any chance at self love, scorching any belief that she is a queen Now eighteen, and still never even had a daddy around to hold up her crown So she searches for him in all the wrong men which either ends in her death or leaves her lying at yet another ghettoed dead end.
Leadra Reeves is a class of 2020 Girls Write Now mentee based in Brooklyn, NY.