Black Boy Review


Illustration of a dead dog by Clifford Harper

Your puppy voice filled the house
Strengthening the Rusty irons and grey haired zincs
The felt young again, that place felt like home
For in that tiny bark sparked smiles on our faces

You know not your mother nor do I
I fed you my milk and you smelt of my soap
Forgive me, I wasn’t dedicated as a real mother
On your insides you fed, from shrinking on those days

It brought hot tears to my eyes, as I picked the lice carefully
To spill only its blood and retain the little you have left
You didn’t mind, your smile showed beautiful teeth
Your tail swaying …losing some hairs but you didn’t mind

In that dull pupil I saw a spark.. Some of us lack
The resolved understanding of things that matters
A steadfast commitment to maintain bonds
That delicate string that ties hearts together

I saw it as you graced my face with welcoming kisses
I didn’t mind, the tears forming slowly numbed me
You stayed when others passed, lying stiff on their pool of hot urine
Larry, ah that old demon, that only terrorized teens
Sinking its rabies stricken fangs in young skins
Thunder, your daughter that fought you for the pride rock
That outshined you in beauty and strength.
Met her doom through ignorance
When she fought that sleek demon always hissing and
With poisonous tongue

But you stayed back…graying
Even when those moments came, you fed on rats
You kept the house hold together

You remained in charge
Daring those fat rats

But you ate all the rats, your insides followed next
I didn’t mean to stay long.. I lost my spark
When I came back your tail no longer flagged
Your smile revealed murderous fangs
Drooling with death, I knew it was coming
You knew it too. You rejected my food and faced away

making wallow in grief… I am sorry to have wailed
You simply scoffed and bowed down
Then I knew I was too late.
You only waited for tomorrow.. Knowing you won’t see it
But your body could still take in the rays the harsh flames
Of a cruel world.

Day break I crawl to your lair
I don’t know why I hoped
You told me last night, Why was my finger crossed
When I saw life leaving your eyes

I reached, it broke my heart to see you lying stiff
And hot tears burning through your face leaving a mark
Then I knew you didn’t just die because your insides finished
No; you died of a broken heart, a bond torn

Dry sad tears now forming,. majestically, taking its time .then I walked out

I didn’t want to think about it
You were gone, you laid stiff and drooled death
It tried coming out but I held it back
You deserve more than my miserable shriveled cries

So I am writing this for you
Hope to sing it to you when you become one with earth
do you know you are wearing my white shawl, you look pretty
Your jade black and carton brown is now same with this dry sand
Goodbye by my friend.



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