Monday, January 25, 2016

52 Prompts: Virgin in Harlem

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Their wooly black locs twirled in circles down their backs, swinging in unison with one another to the beat of the faint steel drums echoing from the hot Harlem streets.  Their fingers laced together, tight and their offspring close at their backs.  Their tiny steps just hairs from their elders.  Their baby locs springing like tiny coils from their fertile heads.  Uneven but still beautiful.

And they were Harlem black.  Uptown brown.  Deep but shallow. Created by the sun and mildly bitter from yellow. Like jewels in the smokey city heat.   Their velvet locs moist with coconut.  Their skin like licorice and Shea.  Their clothing was handmade.  Rich cottony fabrics. Vivid blue and white.  It floated with them.  Caught in the breeze they created.  Barely grazing the asphalt that carried their feet.

I wanted to be with them.  Birthed from them.  Maybe just close enough to listen to them speak. So my thoughts could dance in the beat they left in their footsteps.  Words and books and truth and knowledge.  Standing in my moss green tights and Catholic school uniform, I released my mother's manicured hands and watched.  We were here from South Jamaica to see ourselves. More what we hoped and who we had planned to be.  My hair was processed and short.  It smelled like Soft Sheen and Dax. It stunk in their light. And I
Who I
Who I pretend
Who I be
I knew
Breathing in the air they shared as they passed us by. I was watching them be free.

Prompt: Write about freedom.

Each Sunday, I will be sharing my response to a short writing prompt from the many (many) writing books I've invested in over the years.  Enjoy, join me or leave a comment! Prompts are an awesome way to get the muse to come out and play.

Love and Light,

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