Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Arts.Advocacy+Wellness: "Still Swimming"




The Writer's Place Poetry Review:
features Cornelius Jones Jr.'s
Still Swimming


Hello A.A+W and Future Fans.

So I shared the new good news last week and would like to share it again this week. My poem Still Swimming (..I Remember...) has been selected as 3rd Place Recipient for The Writer's Place Poetry Review 2011-2012 edition. In celebration of this great honor I would like to share the piece with you. Interested in reading other winner's work, log on to: www.thewritersplace.org.

“Still swimming (…I remember…)”

I remember going with you to Chesapeake Bay and I saw my first farm raised fishpond. I think there was salmon swimming in there. I remember when the boat came in and you, your fishermen friends, and Uncle John unloaded the wild caught fish: lake trout, shad, bass, and even live crabs. I remember a group of black men and white men laughing together knowing that this was a good catch and you all would be racking in the dollars. I remember this in Virginia.
I remember when I made momma cry ‘cause she looked at the calendar we always kept in the kitchen to remind us of important appointments and I think momma was checking the calendar for her dentist appointment and saw that I marked:
June 21st, Dad comes home. I remember this was the day you came home from being hospitalized with pneumonia for over a month. I remember. I remember. I remember when you starred on the 6’oclock news…Something you tuned into daily, in our living room, but this day you were not home, you were in jail and you headlined the news that entire evening…In handcuffs they had you and tucked your head into the police car ‘cause you sold illegal dear meat. I remember being so sad...so angry…so confused. You saying, “I’m just doing what I need to do, ‘cause I ain’t gon’ be here for too much longer.” I remember.

I remember loving Kraft American cheese. The individual wrappers…going through 5-7 slices a day for 2 weeks straight, and you warned, “That cheese is gonna bind you up,” and I remember thinking you didn’t know what you were talking about and I kept eating my American cheese, and two weeks later, I learned my lesson. My bowels couldn’t pass through, and you had to buy me prune juice, which was so gross. I couldn’t stomach it, so you mixed it in with coca-cola and a day later you stood by my side as I screamed in the bathroom like a pregnant woman giving birth (as I would imagine momma giving birth to my hard-headed self). It finally passed through. You grinned and I said, “Yeah, I learned my lesson.” I remember.

I remember you trying to get your strength back, testing what life had left. I remember you trying so hard. I remember. I remember you lying in bed. I remember communicating through raised and lowered hands and blinks of the eye and movements of the lip. I remember your last nod…your last smile. The look of joy that you were completing your last lap…finally you could float with no support. I remember….as I’m still swimming.

©2010 Cornelius Jones Jr.

Tune in next Wednesday for more
Arts.Advocacy+Wellness with Cornelius Jones Jr.
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2 comments:

Lil Mogul Richard E. Pelzer II said...

Excellent!!!!
I would not expect anything less!!!

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