old grandad whiskey | grandma’s dementia — an Atlanta Word Works Original

  |  Topic: Atlanta Teen Voices, Atlanta Word Works, Poetry
By Ogechi N. Ofodu

Atlanta WordWorks Wednesday #ATLWWW

Weekly poems from your Team Atlanta representatives of Brave New Voices 2017

DeAndre, 18, class of 2020 of Morehouse College and is the only male on AWW’s Team Atlanta this season. With his own unique D.C.-native niche (we’re still learning the slang) he enhances the wisdom of the team. A painter whose favorite brush is his keyboard, DeAndre’s ability to seduce ears elegiacally while caressing minds with that beatnik poet type essence and style, we are more than excited about his summer immersed in blood, sweat and poetry.

Here’s one of his poems. 

“old grandad whiskey | grandma’s dementia”

i.

my grandfather loves to drink //

says it cleanses his heart //

to beat one more time //

 

puts more of his faith in whiskey //

than in God //

skips the bread //

goes straight for //

the bottle //

 

kisses his cup //

more than his wife //

maybe because //

he gets a feeling //

across his lips from it //

 

I think //

he fears //

affection //

 

never expresses his feelings //

unless the burn //

in his throat //

strangles out //

an I love you //

 

ii.

my grandmother lost herself //

has spent years searching //

for an image of her past //

only to find blank scrapbooks //

 

puts more faith //

in her hello’s //

than in the rest //

of a conversation //

skips the how are you //

goes back to the hello //

 

kisses her dementia //

more than the memory //

of her husband //

maybe because //

she gets a feeling //

from him begging //

to hear more than a hello //

 

I think //

she fears //

responding //

 

never speaks //

unless the bark //

in my grandfather’s voice //

evokes her to respond //

before his words bite //

into her heart //

still healing //

from wounds //

she struggles to remember //

 

Interested in Slam Poetry?

Stay updated with VOXATL.COM to read a piece from each member of Brave New Voice’s Team Atlanta and the coaches of Atlanta Word Works.

Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival is an annual slam poetry competition for poets ages 13 to 19. This year the festival will convene in the Bay Area, California, July 19-22.

Use #TeamATL #ATLWordWorks  and #WritersWednesday to keep up with weekly updates and profiles of Team Atlanta as we progress through the #JourneyToBNV17.

Atlanta Word Works offers free poetry workshops during the school year at VOX, too. Submit your own original work for publication by emailing media@voxatl.org.

 

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