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Lemonade by Beyoncé

Rarely, if ever, do I use my creative space to review another poet or creative's work, the reviews I do are on Tayé Foster Bradshaw's Bookshelf.

This release by Beyoncé has rested in my spirit for the past day, on the end of a week where a childhood friend died unexpectedly from a stroke and aneurysm while her granddaughter was being born and a few days after learning that Prince unexpected died sending purple rain upon us all.

It is only fitting that the week ended with imagery of my black woman, Creole Haitian heritage displayed with every bit of Yoruba spirituality and generations of mother's prayers.

The poet, Warsan Shire, a Somalian born woman squarely in the womanist voicing of her millennial generation, has given her sisters, mothers, and foremothers a gift, the gift of acknowledgement.

Sojourner Truth once asked, "Ain't I a Woman?" in a time when white womanhood was treated like a delicate flower, Beyoncé's musiciomentary seems to capture the completeness of that question with a resounding, "yes." The imagery of the past, present, complexities of being a black diasporian woman when we have been uncovered and unprotected, only feeling safe in the surroundings of our sisters, grieving together, celebrating together, growing together, she gives us release.

Listen meets Life is But a Dream meets Formation meets Lemonade and in it all, this young woman revealed the complexities of our emotions. We are giving back the lemons, refusing to compromise voice and presence, presenting ourselves in the fullness of our connectedness along Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, the Americas, every place where our melanin adds color to the sky.

This poetic work will be examined and explored more, still something that black women understood from the depths of our soul. Lemonade is a celebration, an acknowedgement, a redemption.


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The Burden

This isn't mine anymore

What?

This.

She stretched out her hands
the parcel neatly wrapped
brown paper
with a
red bow

What is this?

Take it, it is your's.

But

No, it is not mine to carry
Anymore

What do you mean?

I mean that I am giving it back
it was never mine
anyway

I don't understand

You never did.

I don't want it.

Take it.

No.

So she
dropped
it
right
where
she stood.

And turned
and walked away.

The package was never her's to hold.
So she let it go.


Tayé Foster Bradshaw is the poet's nom de plumme. She resides in a suburb of St. Louis surrounded by her family, her books, her pens, and her lattes.

This poem is inspired by the lives and burdens of many women, particularly women of color, who are forced to carry the cares, thoughts, and expectations of others without regard to their own wants, needs, and health. This poem is a release.




Black Mama Tears

It rained this afternoon

Loud claps of thunder

Almost couldn't see the rain

For my tears falling down

Black Mama Tears

too many

dying

in their sleep

on a run

at a store

too many

stopped

just walking

just working

just breathing

It rained today

And I couldn't see

for all the weeping

of

Black

Mamas.

Bridges by Tayé Foster Bradshaw

Walking
across time
Bringing me to you
or
you to me
over a way through-
tears and fears
to bring us to
the other side of possibility
probability
reality
reality
crossing
structures
through
over
under
hold on
don't look down
look down
walk on over
dance on over
wheels on over
over over over
water and roads and
all the modes that
bring
me
to
you
or





you
to
me
collectively
connected
collaborating
across
the great
wide
way


©2016. Tayé Foster Bradshaw Group, Antona Smith. All Rights Reserved.

Bridges used to scare me as a little girl. In the town where I grew up, in order to get from my neighborhood over to the swimming pool or summer activities, we walked. I was always fine until we reached the crest of the hill and that looming structure that connect roads-to-roads, over cars zooming beneath, promising me opportunity on the other side, if I just trusted the weight of my tiny skinny nine-year-old self against the wind blowing or the sun streaming over this manmade steal structure.  My l…