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
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 © 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.