The Phone Call

She thinks,
I wonder if her knew
before he left.
I mean,
did he have any idea
before he left the house
that day.

Did he know
that he would murder
a mother’s soul,
an unknowing mother
who always knew?

With that one phone call
two people ceased breathing.

Ma’am I have some very bad news.”

A hashtag.
A headline.
That’s what my son
had become, she thinks.
Even though
I raised him to
be a man.

Who decided the best
to let a mother know
her only son has died
was a phone call?

Did They not know
that a mother prepares,
especially a black mother,
for that call to come
one day?
From the day she holds
her baby boy
in her arms–
how she longs
to hold him in her arms–

And now this detached voice
on the phone,
delivers words like a hail of bullets
with no escape.
Maybe if she refuses to speak,
refuses to hear
the words that have been
a throng of silent whispers
echoing in her head
since the day he was born,
maybe then
the pain now coursing through
her heart will
go away.
She can refuse to hang up;
she will hold the receiver
with a grip that refuses to
let go,
like she couldn’t do
her brown skin,
brown-eyed son.

Holding this voice hostage,
refusing to accept
the barrage of bullets
to her soul, she
wonders if her son
already knew.
She wonders
Did she say ‘I love you’
Did she teach him
how to die gracefully?
She taught him to read
taught him the ABCs
They struggled through
lessons he needed,
stuff he’d need
for the rest of his life like
how to tie his shoes.
And struggled through
math too.

But did she teach him
how to see
his own blood
pour from his body
but not to panic
not to react
just to die gracefully
like the man
he’d never be?

The thought pricks her memory
and she picks up the burden,
shoulders grief ensconced in
She forgot to remind him
that the air of mystery
surrounding him
could be
mis—taken for
a weapon and
the knee jerk
of some racist
neighborhood watchman or
overzealous policeman
who wears his manhood
on his sleeve
could kill him.

She thinks,
I didn’t warn him
that the cowardly actions
of some other “man”
could become the knife blade
of reality
to remind them both–
if the dead can remember–
They have always hated him.
But she,
she has always
loved him
how could she not?

Peace & Love,


About Rosalind Guy

I'm broken & my soul is weary/ my weary soul rebels, fights/ anything & anyone who tries to heal me/I beat my head against a wall of memories/ trying hard to break free from the chain of memories/ I can only be free by saying it so/ i weave a necklace from words and finally/ I find freedom/ free free free. As you can see, words are powerful to me. As Maya Angelou said, words are wallpaper of the soul. I have lots of nightmarish memories that threaten to break me, but I learned a long time ago about the power of words. They can be used to heal and destroy anything that threatens to destroy the person. Words coupled with love have the power to save and heal. I am author of three books: Skinny Dipping in the Pool of Womanhood, Tattered Butterfly Wings, and Blues of a Love Junkie. I am a high school English teacher. I am a former reporter. I am a mother. I am a woman. I am a fierce advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves, those who's voices go unheard. Check out my Amazon author page at the following link:
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