With yourself

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Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

A wakeful morning and my heart-thumping
skipping with the infatuation of another day with you

Hair curled with wispy locks bouncing upon my shoulders
like Shirley Temple curls while tap dancing

Lipstick on my puckered lips and coated with cherry drops
Harmonies of our bliss joined with an easy waltz

I robe my body-parts, accentuating my curves for your
inviting eyes to see, and humming in the daylight
and smiles from passerby’s

After many months the curtain has risen, infatuation is gone
The winded breeze freezes our tear-drops
There is more of what is wrong than right
We drifted too close to the sun and got…

To your own drummer

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Photo by Gordon Cowie on Unsplash

I danced to a different drummer, even
though my white flesh was not a match
There is some acceptance now of what
society judged harshly in the past

Stick and stones you threw at me
because I had a love for someone
of a different race

You said I was a disgrace

I stood my ground and at my inexperienced age
I pulsed with my drummer and danced it my way

The mixing of the races became more notable,
but where was all the support back
in 1967 when I did?

You called me white trash and snubbed me
and told me I didn’t belong, and now,
in 2021, you choose to try and understand…

Ego in the flesh

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Photo by ActionVance on Unsplash

Brimstone and earth-shattering
Words cruel and not heaven-sent
The consciousness of disparity

Youth that cried out for mothers
while suffering for her breast

Lady Liberty waited
for the glorious horizon,
watching the travelers
that wanted a home

Her torch still shined
while hit with tongues of vile

We worried about our civility
that our poetry would be barren
of love for one another

We sat and pondered
with worries and conversation,
wondering when it will end
when people of all races
feel like they belong

An elect with the hope
that was a godsend

And hopeful aspirations
of a future filled with
the taste of wild honey
and manna from…

You have to go on

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Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

My cousin recently read my memoir. Her first question to me was how did you become so resilient?

My answer was you do whatever you have to do when the challenges arise. I never thought of myself as a resilient person. So I started researching resilience.

What does resilience really mean?

In the simplest sense, resilience means one’s ability to bounce back. To be a resilient person means to be able to withstand and adapt to hardships, including trauma. In some cases, it can mean finding a path that leads to a stronger position. (Dictionary)

Contrary to popular opinion — and our culture’s obsession with introspection and analysis — we do not necessarily need to “work through” all of our trauma. Some experiences, are simply too distressing or disturbing to be successfully integrated into our lives. The most resilient people do not always “get over” their experiences, rather, they get past them, and move on with their lives. …

What’s the difference

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Photo by Senjuti Kundu on Unsplash

“The healthiest response to life is joy.” Mark Twain

I have been reading a lot about happiness. But not much about joy. Most people want to be happy. Looking and searching for the magic pill. Even a famous song, “Happy,” made us all want to sing and dance. But why are we searching for happiness? Because things that make us happy have an external object or emotion attached to them. Ex: A brand new car that has all the bells and whistles attached to it until someone rams into you. Now, are you happy?

I have contemplated the differences between joy and happiness. I enjoy being happy. But in my maturity, I prefer to be joyous. …

Another day in the city

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Cali, photo by B. DeCarlo

It was a typical morning. I went to the bathroom in my litter box. I bumped it against the wall until my mommy gets up and feeds me. She looks at my bottom to make sure it is clean with no poop stuck on it. She does not like it when I play tag with it.

She brushes my hair and gives me fish oil to help with the shedding. I have to look at my best today because we are going to the vet.

She places me in my carrier. She rolls me down to the vet’s office; what a choppy ride, it makes me anxious. …


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Photo by loly galina on Unsplash

One of my fondest memories was when my mother would decorate for Christmas. She would buy a can of snow, and we would spray it on the window and make a shape of a mountain on half of the windowpane. Then we would take the Christmas stencils and fill them in with glass wax on the rest of the window. My mother loved decorating for the holidays.

I distinctly remember the silver Christmas tree with the silver palm fronds at the end of each branch. The Christmas lights we placed on the tree glistened in multi-colors. Watching the lights made my body tingle. …


Bernadette DeCarlo

Writing has healed me in ways that I could have never imagined.

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