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This is a poem written by Sonia Sanchez about a woman who takes her daughter to the crack house. The poem is incredible and moving, even more so when performed. If you're interested in seeing her perform this poem, check out Def Poetry, Season One: Episode Two. She is the fifth performer, I believe.

Poem for Some Women - Sonia Sanchez

I'm alright.
I say, I'm alright.
What you looking at?
I say, I'm alright.
doing okay,
I-I-I'm still writing, producing
on the radio.
Who I foolin?
I'm a little ill.
Now I just got a little jones,
Jones, jones, habit, habit.

Took my seven-year-old to the crack house with me on Thursday.
beautiful little girl,
prettiest little girl her mama done ever seen.
Took her so she understands
why I late sometimes
with her breakfast, dinner, bedtime
needings, bedtime love.
Wanted her to know how hard it is for me.
You know, a single woman,
out here on her own.

You know, so I took her to the crack house
where this man, this dog, this former friend of mine lived.
Wouldn't give me no crack,
no action.
Even when I offered my thighs
to give him some again for the umpteenth time,
he said no.
All the while,
looking at my baby,
my pretty little baby.
And he said,
"I want her. I need a virgin.
Yo' pussy's too loose.
You had so much traffic up your pussy,
you could park a truck up there
and still have room for something else."
And he laughed,
this loooonnng laugh.
And I looked at him
and the stuff he was holding in his hand.
You know, I couldn't remember my baby's name.
He held out the stuff to me,
and I couldn't remember her birthday.
I couldn't remember my daughter's face.
And I cried as I walked out that door.
What's her name?
Ask me again,
I'll tell you the same thing.
Couldn't even hear her screaming my name,
as he tore into her pretty little panties.
Prettiest girl you done ever seen.
Pretties little mama's baby you done ever seen.

Bought my baby this pretty little leather jacket off the street.
When I went to pick her up on Sunday,
seven days later,
walked right up to the house,
opened the door,
saw her sitting on the floor.
She said,
"Mama! Where you been? Mama, I called for you.
Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama!
They hurt me something bad.
I wanna go home!

Mama's little baby
loves shortening, shortening.
Mama's little baby loves shortening bread.
Put on the jacket.
Put on the jacket.
Mama's little baby loves shortening bread.

When we got home
she wouldn't talk to me.
She just sat and stared,
wouldn't even watch the TV
when I turned it on.
When we got home,
She just stared at me with her eyes,
just sat and looked at me with her eyes
'til I had to get out of there.

You know,
my baby ran away from home last week.
My sweet little shortening bread
ran away from home last night.
And I dreamed she was dead,
dreamed she was surrounded by panthers
who tossed her back and forth,
nibbling and biting,
and tearing her up.
My little shortening bread
ran away from home last week.

I see you
and you
and you
and yoooou.
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Submitted on
February 23, 2006


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