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Brenda Joy Dobson

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Member Since: Sep, 2008

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Flames
by Brenda Joy Dobson
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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One of life's book burnings - bjd -


                                   Flames

                                      by Brenda Joy Dobson

Her father, Lee, died by the time she

cut 

her

first tooth

got a spanking from Mama  for pissin' in her cloth diaper twice in a two-minute interval 

yes, even as an infant, she had learned to do things for extra attention

had her first bus ride from north to south when she learned to read the words white and colored...signs of separation, everywhere...at the age of four, she learned that skin-color made her different...

had endured "unspeakable acts" by older kids that began when she was a toddler because she was told that she'd like it

learned, that as a boy, Abraham Lincoln read by fireplace, firelight...she decided to do it, too, until one night the book caught fire....uh, by accident.

got spit on the first day of school by a little girl just because she tried to "meet 'n greet" a new friend

learned that friends were few even though no signs of separation existed like it did in the south

learned that she was hated for being brown on the playground

learned that her Saura-Jewish-Irish roots didn't count, brown was unfashionably- unfavorable; Alas! She'd act out ole English plays for comedic relief -- shame on thee, you weak-minded scally-wags, who dareth label me a black winch of the forest.! BE GONE!! ..oh, where your cruel, black hearts dwell. Be gone, I say!! 

learned that the "N" word wasn't abbreviated by school kids who found burgeoning humor in poking fun of brown-skinned people

learned that playing a cruel tag game of 'You've Got the Cooties' was a daily event that she experienced in the halls, actually, everyday, everywhere...she often ate lunch alone, on meals that tasted of ashes

learned that staying indoors and drawing pictures of  her Native-American Jesus wasn't  tolerated during recess

learned that it was okay for Teacher to slap her hands or or thrash her back with a ruler or pull her long black braids when she made mistakes at the chalkboard

learned that paste tasted like soothing peppermint...Teacher's "in-her-face" breath always smelled like bitter celery and oranges

learned not to complain about stomach pains, when it was her heart that ached, endlessly

learned that heaven was a beautiful place, her day- dream retreats in class became an art form for meeting her father who transitioned when she was a newborn...

...well, until the pain of Teacher's ruler grazed her shoulder..."Read," shouted Teacher!

...She came zooming back from her "comfort-place" by the feel of a  chapter book being shoved in her hands, entitled, "Slavery in American."

As instructed, she begins reading aloud; the kids turn around, pointing and snickering as though it's her life story...hateful kids, with sanctioned behaviors, undisciplined by Teacher

She learned that school-survival with weak-minded schoolmates wasn't going to be a comfortable experience... ever!

Therefore, she couldn't wait to get home and start reading that slavery book by fireplace- firelight and watch the pages catch on fire...uh, by accident.

 bjd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Reviewed by Regis Auffray 4/15/2010
Truly sad but thoroughly engaging and meaningful, Brenda. Thank you. Love and best wishes,

Regis
Reviewed by JMS Bell 8/1/2009
WHAT A BEAUTIFUL POET YOU ARE AND JUST TO THINK...EVERY EXPERIENCE THAT GOD ALLOWS TO HAPPEN IN OUR LIVES...FROM THE CRADLE TO THE GRAVE...INFLUENCES OUR PENS. BLESSINGS AND THANKS SO MUCH FOR SHARING. GOD BLESS. JOYCE * HIS INSPIRATIONS
Reviewed by Lori Moore 7/30/2009
Extremely sad, yet empowering. Enjoyed.
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