30 DAYS OF JAYE-DAY 13: Mama’s Gun Is In Her Purse

My best friend told me to get a gun for protection

she said, “The world is crazy!”

she said it looking around,

I couldn’t help but remember exactly

how crazy the world was–

even as soon will be.

My sister told me to get a gun

to keep it in my purse.

keep it with me

like I do my lipstick, my mirror, and my car keys.

keep it by me with me always

so in case

I need to defend myself

from the world that itself determines

to superimpose itself on me.

my sister told me to get a gun

and keep it in my house–

keep it locked up tight!

keep it for when somebody

tries to break in on me

and I can defend myself

and all those who

I hold dear to me

my best friend–

told me to get a gun

realizing that it has to be

small enough to

fit inside my bag

and you can still be

small enough to hide

from my children,

and any grandchildren

I may have.

I told my love I was

going to get a gun and

he said, “you need to let me show you how to use it. “

because he doesn’t want me hurt.

my best friend told me to get a gun

because Brother Malcolm said

that the most unprotected person

in this nation are the women

who look like me…

at the intersection of Black and woman

with eternity at her back and future in her belly

I am both threat and conquest and prey.

But praytell where do the strong go with the stronger come after her?

Perhaps this is why my grandma meant when

she said, “Have a nice day”.

because peace indeed is steel.

-JBHarris, 10.2.2021