Obama's Children: Poems (Paperback)
Obama's Children: Poems, by Earl S. Braggs represents a universal quest for human dignity and acknowledgement made specific through the Black experience.
Steve's Short-Sleeve Shirt
Steve's short-sleeve shirts were almost always cut-off,
flannel shirts as if he knew a next winter
might not come.
Back in '71, he grew an ugly afro that
he couldn't figure out how to be proud of, too thin to hold
an afro pick. We were riot-night running buddies,
best friends in the best of times, the worst of times.
We rode the same dull pencil-yellow school bus
during those turbulent school-house years. Our English teacher,
Mrs. Davis, we loved
like young boys love pretty teachers, but
Mrs. Davis wasn't pretty. White as composition notebook
pages, she taught the deconstruction of complex sentences
written in black and white and red.
Unfazed by head rags of race war, she stole our attention,
kept it, never intending to give attention back. We didn't
want it back, anyway. She loved Steve, I loved Steve. We all did.
Steve didn't grow up with us. He moved from the country
to the city our freshman year. Project still-life, still, somewhat,
new. The comprehension of such, I don't think he ever, fully,
wanted to figure out how to measure. Steve was beyond.