By Dee Allen Not a native, but a resident Of my corner of East Oakland Where poverty dominates, Where broke-on-broke crime Is as natural as...


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I am we

a piece of the whole

the collective essence of life.

We are the roar of the sea

smashing against the cliffside

or the salt left behind in the grains of sand

sweet sugar mango glowing

as it drops into eager hands

mouths hungry for its nectar 

the sun beating down on a dirt road

while heat waves dance in the distance

the earth that quakes in summer time

or the pulse of once-still waters.

Fat Tuesday

We went to Nana house 

for Catholic Friday fish and fries,

coleslaw, pound cake

scrumptious, icebox lemon pies.

But my favorite day was Tuesday

when those who were able

could hear my Daddy making love

to Mama at the dining table.