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Freewrite about Fam

April 18, 2012

I facilitate creative writing workshops all around the city and although I’m not supposed to pick a favourite, a group that’s particularly close to my heart is the iniative through Operation Springboard open custody youth. These young men are all ‘in conflict with the law’ and twice a week myself and another writer go in and run writing programming. They surprise me with their talents. They also surprise me when I come up with stuff out of thin air. Here’s a freewrite on the theme of family:

Ii

they say that I’m the glue among my tribe

I say with pride, I hold everyone together,

take deep breaths with my mother as I hug her,

drop beats with my pops on the ones and two (Dj Pooky, you know how we do!)

my little sister’s so sweet, she keeps me grounded

my big sis is a teacher of everything i’ve found and

this tribe is my foundation

I

grannie cooks wisdom in my porriage

grates her stories like nutmeg,

we Frenches

we fearless

we’ve been through the trenches

we’ve been through the bests and the worsts

watched hearses carry our own to the next world.

dressed in black, we cry and laugh over those lost but the tribe grows strong.

i

cousins over seas making babies to add new branches

to the family tree, praying over stewed beef

to offer our family relief

when we long for each other over islands.

our fingers flipping through photos

of how nieces and nephews have grown

its blessed, but there are bumps

and although family trumps all else,

there are those who forget

i

silence between blood

brothers disown each other

over foolishness, over females

while other kin locked in jail,

beautiful black boys without bail

without guidance

yet i find this hard to jive with since we share

the same grandmother with hands holding history

of maroon warriors, strong people of courage and defiance

working together, building an alliance

freedom fighters but baby boy’s not free

his pin in a cell barely hit 18

i

family is life, but life get tough

that why i act as the glue, show love

and hope it’s enough.

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