Test Prep Blues

What good is a test if it doesn’t measure a child’s fluency in empathy, doesn’t create opportunity for a child to imagine solutions outside the box, doesn’t make a child want to read because what’s on the page isn’t riveting, essential to their understanding of themselves, other people, places in the world they’ll never see and only know from awkward phrases in textbooks written by … Continue reading Test Prep Blues

Love Note to New York

To love something more than I love this city would mean to break into more pieces than there are train stops, spices, and bodegas from Brooklyn to the Bronx, languages and faiths in Queens, lovers and dreamers in Manhattan. The only thing that can break you into so many pieces and still keep you whole is home, and because home is where we learn to … Continue reading Love Note to New York

To Keep Them Whole

A mother must know when her child is trying to survive. This isn’t the same as when a child struggles, pushes boundaries, rages through growing pains. When a child is trying to survive, a mother must know that to stay still and silent is to do nothing by way of helping her child remain whole, after all, this is what survival is. The very thing … Continue reading To Keep Them Whole

A Lesson on Hair

A smiling white woman with straight golden hair and bright blue eyes leaned across the aisle on the L train to Brooklyn and asked if I had ever thought about conditioning my daughter’s hair. My girl looked magical that day, as she has every day of her life. We were happy in that moment, reveling in our daily ritual of riding the train home from … Continue reading A Lesson on Hair

Flip Flops and Poems

Writing poems is like wearing flip flops. Let me explain before you dismiss the simile and skip this verse. You see, I’m under five feet tall, and chose to walk most of my life in heels, the highest I could find, from when I turned sixteen until the summer I became a mother, and wore nothing but flip flops because Jamaica is hot and because … Continue reading Flip Flops and Poems