Untitled, by Erik Wilbanks

After Markus was kicked out by his mother, he started walking down the road. While walking, he heard barking coming from somebody’s yard and was about to run when he saw a small dog come out of the shadows. Markus was a tall skinny guy who was not afraid of anyone, but as a child he had had a bad experience with big dogs.

A few days later, just as he was trying to get to sleep, a family that was driving by saw Markus lying in a box and stopped their vehicle to talk to him. When the car pulled to the side of the road, Markus thought he was in trouble and started packing his things. Just as he was starting to walk away, the family got out of the car and one of them said, “Hey bud, what are you doing out here?”

Markus responded, “I’m just trying to sleep so I can wake up and try to find a job.”

Another family member said, “We have room at our house if you’d like to come stay and….”

But Markus interrupted: “Honestly, I would love to, but I can’t take advantage of your family after I just got kicked out.”

The father told his wife and his son to go sit in the car. Then he said to Markus, “Whatever happened to you that got you kicked out, that would get fixed in our household. We want to help you, but you have to want to help yourself first.”

Markus stood there, staring at the father with a small smirk. Then he said “First, thank you for that. Second, I’ll take your offer!”

After a few months with the family, Markus now has a job doing construction and is enrolled in school. As well, the family decided to adopt him — even though he is eighteen years old. Without the new family, Markus would have stayed on drugs and would have gone on to more hardcore drugs. If the family hadn’t stopped, Markus’s life would have gotten much, much worse.

MI AMOR

by Kaylyn Weddle

 

My sun kissed Love

a smooth golden brown

whose radiant beams bring life and laughter

 

My Love, washed by the waves

Cleansed of the world’s contaminants,

revitalized youth with its invigorating waters

 

My Love, softened by the sand

Leaves behind the sweetest heart,

the wisest mind, and the dearest soul

ANOTHER ONE

by Sean Reid

 

Another one

Another one down, another one gone.

People tapping away, expressing what’s wrong.

Hashtag this and hashtag that.

A man was shot today, and guess what?! He was black.

“How long must we suffer?”

“Until we lose a father, a sister, or brother?”

“We must stomp our feet and protest!”

“Maybe then that narcissist will hear us from the Oval Office!”

“We’re going to…’hashtag#BlackLivesMatter’ ”

… And what exactly is the result after?

Another murderer set loose on the streets?

Which will then lead to one of us slaughtered in their backseat?”

“No, let’s post our thoughts and they’ll see how we’re really feeling!”

“That will certainly stop all this killing!”

“Nah that ain’t it.  We have a hero who’s kneeling!”

“That’s smart, peaceful, and appealing!”

Another one down, another one gone.

People still expressing what’s wrong.

In the middle of this catastrophe,

There’s been a cracked door to end this agony.

Yet and still, we’re not going to change our mentality.

A man once said, “If you want to hide something from a black man…put it in a book.”

Unfortunately this is true because that’s the one place we do not want to look.

If we choose the path of self improvement,

Then our peers will look at us in confusion.

Because we’re selecting the path that’s the best solution.

We left slavery, but slavery hasn’t left us.

Viewing someone as better will weigh heavy on our conscious.

Another one down, another one gone.

Nothing’s going to change if we keep singing the same old song.

 

TO CLAY

by Naomi Duron

 

You carried the weight of the world on your shoulders

Your back is heavily scarred, and deeply wounded.

With your burdens you easily held my world.

And from your wounds grew precious impervious flora.

and over time your spine grew crooked, after carrying each burden.

Despite the trauma the world and your burdens gave you, you graciously carried my world anyway.