Selected Poems‎ > ‎


Growing up I wanted to be a little black girl
with woven braids and solid white teeth
against luscious chocolate skin.
I wanted to be the child of Rosabelle,

hugged and kissed; soothed by strong Pinesol hands.
Joy to rest my head on her huge behind
while she stood on the soft linoleum washing
my mother’s dishes, humming her gospel truths.

Rosabelle sashayed her massive bulk toward me,
her white uniform starched and always clean.
Ain't nobody as picky about theys food as you child
To the child I attached a silent my.

Weekends she disappeared, returned to her real home,
to her real family I unknowingly robbed,
to some mysterious place in her concealed world.
Rosabelle stopped coming when the buses stopped running.

Joy Gaines-Friedler