Black Love II by Nikki Williams Rucker (guest post)



 They ask us if we hate ourselves

And the answer lingers

As if lost in a chasm of uncontained thought

We process and redress and re-process

Our answer like perms


In beauty salons

And the images before us change color

With the help of New Growth and Revlon

And still there is silence


I refuse to believe we have lost the essence of who we are

The road we were once marching upon

Is now covered in blood stained tears of mothers

Begging for answers 

Wondering how things got this far


Off track

We are trying one car at a time

To reground

The soul train

 But someone is always moving our pieces

And we are still failing to forgive

Looking for answers in the all the wrong places

Hoping our relief may be in a closed cabinet or

Hiding in the preachers cuffs and freshly starched creases


We look to blame the hand of a white man

But the hand that is in the way

Clearly belongs to one that is battered and bruised

That is awful tan

Standing in and out of different hand out lines


Fatherless homes,


Hopeless situations and children looking up at us with little ashy faces

Bending knees at night

By unmade beds, searching, hoping looking

For some sort of direction from above

 I know there has to be more to this story

More lines to the scene

What happened to black love?


It's the feeling George had when he moved up with Wheezy

the think I can attitude it takes to tackle a mountain

the notes seen by Stevie.

Its the stick to it nature that allows us to survive

the hold on spirit we call on

when a family  loses lives

the arms that wrap us up in the middle of the night

the hugs and kisses that reassure you that after darkness

there will come light.


The woman that holds on in spite of her man

that promise to pay it back when and if you can.

Holding hands and waiting for the answer to come over the line

the little noses you wipe of children you didn’t father

but still don’t mind


The endless smiles at sunset

daydreaming about the lips you haven't kissed yet

Running your hand down to the base of his spine

the glance he returns that screams

"yeah she's mine"


The glue that makes you stay when the money runs out

the make a way Saturdays; and the Sunday shouts

The feeling you get when you see her walk down the aisle

the vision you get of your future together

that seems to go on for miles and miles

The leap of faith into the unknown

finally letting out all those feelings

you hadn't shown


Being afraid to say yes, but daring to let go

 Listening to reassurance as you lay across his chest

Its recognizing his scent when he walks into a room

Writing letter after letter,

hoping he will be home soon


Sitting between grandmas 2 worn out ashy knees

Getting your hair greased and braided

Before off to Sunday school


 The dreams you once wrote in secret

That no one ever sees

Buying a new dress in hopes that he sees you

When you stop to buy one thing

and realize you have to buy two.


The moment after the moment after twisted in new sheets

having your breath taken away at the very second

when your eyes meet.

Friendship paths joining and forming one bond

Making plans, buying rings, returning arm in arm.

 Holding up his shoulders when he is too weak to stand


Recognizing him at the family picnic and introducing him as "your man".

Not being afraid to be weak and allow him to carry you

submitting and listening and even learning a thing or two.


Its been around for years way before Cliff loved Clare

its the thing that makes rainbows

and sticks them to the air.


 It’s the think I might attitude that drives your goals to print

Followed by the know I can actions

That compelled us as a Nation

As we elected our first black president


Its family structures that don’t have missing pieces

Coming running to the porch when the street lights came on

Stopping to help an elder carry a bag across the street

Not being afraid to correct a kid that isn’t yours


Its the inhale followed by the long kiss good night

its the magic that makes even the wrong times seem right.

We once lost our way but I’m telling you its coming back

it holds you and arrests your fear like Fred's sudden heart attacks.


Its unquenchable like water, hotter than any fire

beyond the expanse of earth and sky

cant get any higher

A force you can't kill

please listen when I tell you


Black love is so real


-Nikki Williams-Rucker