Back to 125th street
I remember how uncomfortable
I was the day we went to take family
photos. It was summer time in Harlem.
We walked up from Lenox to 5th Avenue,
traffic would keep us in the cab longer
I didn’t want to get out of that car!
I’d be given away by my lace white
and green African gown.
Daddy and mommy walked with a familiar
stride. A confident walk I had not mimicked yet.
My hands were sweating, and my mind was creating
words as if I knew what their American
eyes were saying about my African family.
Every step matched every gaze. Some eyes in
praise, others in question. I asked God that
day not to let me run into anyone from school.
This portrait, my favorite now.
Looking as I do now, walking as I do now
seeing how I see now, this portrait takes
me back to 125th where my walk
talks and says I belong.