Of Tragedy and Things
You Think of Afterwards

The news speaks
of crimes done
on the 9th of today
like it was yesterday
Worry stings
baseball's not enough
to soothe your fears
of a world gone mad
cries of God's children
say 'terrorists will
pay'...and with their
lives too
an eye for an eye
and I ask what this
means for me
A black woman pondering
on her future
and what this means
for my family
my friends
People on the verge of
nervous breakdown
but maybe your
cold corona keeps
you cooler
A foreign movie
imitating life
a woman caught in
emotional strife
'the man I was f-ing
turned out to be a shi-ite
terrorist...I had no idea
til a plane blew up...saw his
picture on the news'
Heartbreak blues
baby does it make
you want to be with
someone, anyone
cause they're saying
it's all gonna end?
but not tomorrow
Uncertainty clashed
with sorrow
a hopeful end
from a poet's pen

No Yella Girl

Ha ha ha ha
you jus a yella girl
a high yella girl
and you ain't cute
how Black is you?
how Black you gon
be? Yo mama
white, is yo mama
white? She's so pale
she jus about white
These are the endless
tauntings from little
school girls who seemed
to live to drive a sister
I fought back
not with my fists
but with my dignity
and holding my head up
not that I was better
but I screamed from the
know me for me, for
my insides, not what I
look like
but no one heard
so I played the role,
often a confused one
as many Black girls
sometimes do
I hid myself often
wandering into the
depths of who I really
who I am
with my pen and my pad
but see only God really knew
the depths of me and who I
really was inside
See I was freer than
the plaid socks
around my ankles
and I was freer than the braids
with ribbons at the ends
that my mother put
in my hair
And I was freer
than those sad
notes I listened to
from Sade's
Is it a Crime
I, I could relate to
Sade's melancholy
words from her lovelorn
lips to the innocent peak
in my ears
I understood the notes of
this heart torn yella girl
so I journeyed
through many phases and
friendships asking, Is
this when I am free from other
people's perceptions of my
outward externity and even
perceptions of myself?
As a girl must grow up
I found ways to turn my
melancholy notes into
freedom songs
See I hummed that yella
away to John Coltrane's
Love Supreme
I danced that yella away
to the rhythm of djembe
I loved that yella away
for the hearts of friends who
have crossed my path
I taught that yella
away to be a
guardian for children
And I wrote that yella
away in poems, letters,
stories, essays, tributes
and plays
to hear my  voice
my own unique voice
and make a new picture
of me
I found what
prejudices we have
against one another for
complexion and color
just makes no sense
I am half of a dark-chocolate
man and half of a
and yellow or brown or
tan or red
are within a brilliant
spectrum of who we are
For all you yella girls
out there who have
suffered bruised ego
for those who ask you
who are you and why
do you look the way
you do?
tell them
Like a butterfly I
represent a unique
and divine creation of
God, one of  many colors
who cannot be labeled
or controlled and
bound by your limiting
perceptions and lack of
self love
With that
I am free to be
my beautiful,
Brown me

(C) 2001 DuEwa M. Frazier
DuEwa M. Frazier

A New York poet, arts journalist, teacher and dramatic artist, and founder of Lit Noire Publishing.  She says: "I wrote Of Tragedy and Things You Think of Afterwards
after reflecting on the sadness and frustration I feel from the events of Sept. 11, and the war that is currently taking place".