Tea and Crackers Interrogation Method

E. R. Smith 2018

Tea and crackers my mother’s secret weapon to weaken our defenses.  We sipped Lipton,  and let loose a mouthful, fears, worried tears, confessions.  We sat in Big Chair in mom’s room.  Big Chair was mom’s ally; worn soft perfection.  Sit and spill.  As soon as she came in from school; mom called, ‘Lizzy you want tea?’  Mom knew something, but what?  She’d been careful to park her backpack in her bedroom chair, “as a habit so I don’t forget anything for school” , she told mom.  Oh…she wondered if her mom would check her backpack?  No, maybe not.  Hope Ms. Bee wasn’t over gossiping and confusing everyone’s business with her own.

Mom brought the tea and crackers straight into her room.  She didn’t ask if I wanted to follow her.  Everything is fine, follow, breathe, sit in Big.  “Did you hear that girl with the blond streaks is pregnant?  ‘Yep, Ms. Bee. ‘ “No, Ma I  didn’t know.”  ‘Wasn’t she your friend?’  “In elementary ma, that was years ago.”  Mom moves on.  How’d you do in school today?  I froze a bit.  “It was good.”  Did mom get a call from school?  The phone rings.  Joey picks it up, “Mom it’s for you.”  I sip tea, and press lips closed to swallow.  Snuggling in Big…  Practice keeping your own counsel, scolds my teen brain.  I can hear silly giggles; mom’s talking to Titi June.  Well, it won’t be long now. More probing after chats done.  I nibble a cracker and decide to fess up…

I tell you mom and her tea…nothing gets past them.


Living The Dream

Sharing my alter ego again.  Hope you like it.

Black Pride

Source: Living The Dream


Pic courtesy of http://www.womenology.com


-Michael Cleaves

Living The Dream

Got up from the Woolworth’s lunch counter, messy with condiments;

Used prints to create a dashiki

Marched all over the southern land, sight-saw strange fruit;

created jazz

Mixed in my education, like a Benetton ad;

uplifted my community

Wore black boots, with black caps, called myself a Panther;

hypnotised a world with Black Power

Unleashed my abundant hair, called myself Beautiful;

introduced a ‘fro

Police stomped my face, sent shepards called German after me;

mainstreamed Rap

Threw my fist in the air like an Olympian, receiving gold;

started profiling

Remembering that dream hasn’t been easy, changing a klan cherished history;

Rap got gangsta’

Beaten even when one couldn’t breathe, now black lives matter;

Confused as to whether we are beginning anew, causes we forgot to remember?



Party Girls Why Do You Hate Me?

©2017 E. R. Smith

Party girls why do you hate me?

You dated early choice boys who forsook me

Always invited to the party or to club

Me? Home studying how to live above

How do I move from welfare to fairing well?

Well, I missed the parties, the boys, your circle of love

Party girls why do you hate me, I adore your pretty babies?

Stopped by every shower to shower you with a first paycheck gift

Left wondering at the ousted feeling on my skin,  a bad whiff

Why do you hate me? I wondered at the choices of mates you mated!

Jealous of the choice boys you sampled in the community

Wanting to be held, but more held above other women, highly rated

I waited….a    long    time.   Saw you all from time to time; raising families

Jealous of the love surrounding you, wandering where mine lay hiding

Graduated BS, MSEd., good job, okay looking lady seeking family

God sent him and then my dearest daughter’s love, abiding

Married black family rare and true, but I’ve done nothing to you

So, why do you hate me, when’ve I’ve only envied how God blessed you?


Wildly Domesticated

©2017 E. R. Smith

Dance the table rings

native natural moves heat

pump grind wind down aisle

pull view from past dirty deeds

stare at tame and housebroken


Too Fresh to Pick

©2017 E. R. Smith

Stand side line watching players ball

Sweat flying, limbs sleek and poised

Alphas in their prime, gorgeous and tall

Ten wonders, beyond average boys

Heart pounding, in awe of design

Taking in all of the whole of them

Eyes large with possible, uncross align

Preparing to pick the best gem

Picky girl observing on high bleachers

Recalled she’s fresh fifteen

Life with these  remarkable creatures

Just for now,  a vivid dream


Amused I’m Not Irate

©2017 E. R. Smith

past taught, all lie, some

can’t get mad just learn fib game

smile through pain, laugh sad


On Her Ocean’s Shore

©2017 E. R. Smith

bright shells fat with pearl

Yemanya sends forth bounty

give praise lest she go