Innocent Etchings on Manhood

I wrote the following poem when I was 21.  I am 33.  There is always love.  There is a heart skipping beats… There is forgiveness. And far and above all else, there is a little girl.

Innocent Etchings on Manhood

I always carried a picture of you in my mind,
A portrait drawn with the blunt edge of Crayola.
That box of 64—a palette of infinite possibilities.
A blank slate.   A world hidden.

Always a gift;

Wrapped with the hope that the great inquisition

Would worry a manila.   And sail its four corners,
In much the same way I worried the hem,
Trailing behind my mother’s dress.

Armed to the teeth with questions.

She was altogether lovely, all-powerful and ever-present.

I had no need for Polaroids or candid moments
She was here.   But you were…

Unattainable, and as yet undefined.
A gnawing hunger, fed by the chasm of alienation
and separation.

Going back to the drawing board, years too late,
I found Crayola crumbled.   A habit broken.

In its wake,

A mime’s penmanship.
Whose flow and movement held all truth.
I had another close encounter.
The pen was mightier than the eye.

Now I perfected your stance,
Shaded in the irises, textured the lips,
And made you smile.

You are neither lovely, powerful or present.

Yet, I patiently await an introduction.

Copyright (c) 1999, 2011, Tynisha C. Leon

The featured photo is all Brianna McCarthy and her Big Fish in Detail.  As I posted this poem, it was this image that came to mind and Brianna’s words via ARC magazine that the end result, did ‘not look human.’  I simply love things as they are—no judgement! And I love this—the poetry and the piece and the peace.



Hi there, I’m Tynisha C. Leon, writer, West Indian, mango-lover, founder and Editor-in-chief of DASHEEN magazine — the online destination where culture feeds imagination. Join the culture chat on Facebook and Twitter! If you’d like to contribute, drop me a line here, I’d love to read/see your unique views! Bless up!
Tynisha Camelitta (94 Posts)

Hi there! I’m Tynisha Camelitta, writer, West Indian, mango-lover & passion-preneur @ DASHEEN mag­a­zine + Camelitta INK! & Co. DASHEEN is proud to represent as the online destination where 'Culture Feeds Imagination.' If you'd like to join the celebration of Love, Culture & Diaspora, drop me a line. I'd love to read/see you. Bless up!


  1. Love this! I so enjoy your poetry.

    • So sweet to me! For you, I may just post more. :)

  2. I think one of the greatest things you can do is look back on something that you have written. You see how you have changed, your perception of the world has changed and you get to experience another part of yourself all over again. I love the unusual combination of words and I think you were definitely a helluva writer at 21….just as now. Wonderful



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