Writing from the Classroom: Ajeé Anderson

Here are three poems by Ajeé Anderson. She graduated a couple of years ago from Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles. She took a number of my creative writing courses, but she came to the class already with the fire to write. Here’s her bio in her own cool words:

I’m an African-American woman operating in a white, male-dominated world. I write about the past, present, and future and its connection with my personal experiences, Womanism, African-American and African Diaspora history and culture. Through it all I create tales in hopes of recovering who I once was and discovering where I’m meant to be.

“We will be ourselves and free, or die in the attempt. Harriet Tubman was not our great-grandmother for nothing.” –Alice Walker

 

WATERMELON

A hard exterior forged from years in earth,
I spring forth from rich soil bearing life;
To undiscerning eyes ̶ ̶̶̶  ̶  ̶ unappealing.
This body carries darkness, sweetness
And every sting to my surface, every discoloration to my rind, a testament.
Gods are not sustained through simple means.
Thus, I wait for someone and no one
Because time withers all and this holy temple will dry.
A missed taste shall never be recovered,
For no two delights are the same.

 

BELOVED

Child of mine you will never be born.
My reason, this world would rather see you dead than alive.
I’ve taken it upon myself to wipe away your unborn life.
But know this, I’d rather keep you safe in an unknown abyss than be unprotected in my arms.
I would rather you have no life than experience the cruelty of this one.
I would rather never see your face than see it lowered in the ground.
For a mother’s love is powerless to a bullet,
A mother’s love is a fickle shield when the enemy owns the land,
A mother’s love… is dying for you and dying without you.
There’s a tale of a woman who killed children to protect them,
Many see her as abominable, I see her as strong
Because she had the strength to swing the axe before the world could.

 

WEEK

The dawn is coming and I pour a glass.
My stomach a raging ocean, my heart a butterfly flapping restless winds;
Catalysts to all turmoil in me.
“Don’t go,” the taste of soundless words paired with bitter drink.
“Go,” the prayer in my soul voiced.
I wonder how eight months go to eight days to eight minutes to eight seconds.
Dawn is touching my skin, its warmth third to yours.
I raise my glass and chug, its warmth second to yours.
I pray dusk never comes.

 

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