Mama Grey


Dear Lord

Take my hand

Lead me on

Give me courage to open these doors you’ve given me to do.

Help these women with children

You gave me this shelter of light to be a guide to those that are lost.

Except I need your help to run this place.

I got no children to help me run this place or children to live this Legacy to.

Buildings run down

roof about to fall on us

Love is the glue that’s holding this place together.


Mama Grey         ( a voice outside the office door)

Mama Grey

Laud see what I’m talking about.


Mama Grey (Young ladies voice outside)

Mother Grey

we need your help

Chloe’s water broke

Daphne and Linda are fussing over house chores.

Continue reading “Mama Grey”

Cinnamon: Walmart Employee

Alarm clock going off

I got to get up



Yawl get up now

Get a move on

Mo ma can’t be late

It takes 2 hours

to get to work.

I swear I can’t wait

til income tax time

Mo ma gonna get a car (singing)

Laud yawl stop fool-in’ around

Who at that door?

Mr. Smith

What does he want?




What? I got til this evening to pay rent.

Mr. Smith

I told you I’d have your money-IN FULL

tomorrow morning.

I gotta work a Double.

Oh alright, Mr. Smith! Alright

Good day, good day!

Continue reading “Cinnamon: Walmart Employee”

Lost Soul

A Lost Soul

Family Life

I grew up in the foothills of Georgia.

Raised on bald faced whiskey and country music like Patsy Kline.

We were poor and didn’t have any money to buy new clothes.

I wore hand me downs, jeans with patches, and shoes that were ate out by wood rats.

Townspeople called us,” pile up with trash and  corn-fed critters.”

I have no idea when Pap started selling bald face whiskey, or growing marijuana. All I know that life for us changed.  Pap sold whiskey to local  coal-miners and marijuana. At night he’d get drunk and hit ma-maw until she turned black and blue. One time he hit her so hard, she couldn’t see out of her eye. It’s like he nailed it shut.


Puberty came knocking on my door and Ma-maw  and Pap introduced me and my sister to a lot of things. I’m not sure if it’s bad or not, but it was a way of life. We had Sunday night parties where marijuana, whiskey and sex went on until 2 in the morning. Then Pap would leave for his boating trip for a week.

Things aren’t always the way they seem. One minute they’re playing cards.The next,  I’m seeing ma-maw having sex with my Auntie. It’s as if  my sister and I weren’t there. I feel that they wanted us to see them.. I thought they were sisters because I called her Auntie all my life. When we tried to leave they made my sister and I sit at the bottom of her bed and watch.

Then she threatened to feed us to the Ghost on the Appalachian trail if we ever told Pap. She and Aunt Benny  laughed a wicked laugh, ” Nasty Naughty Girl.”

“Come over and touch them,” she said holding Auntie’s breast.  Sissy and I ran out of the room screaming. I threw up on the kitchen floor. I don’t know if it was the whiskey or them that made me sick.

A Week Later

Pap came back from a boating trip with a man-a stranger. This man looked was about Pap’s age and wore a patch on his left eye. He walked with a limp too. The stranger had a nice boat. It was beautiful and it looked shiny and new.  Pap said, ” Sweet child don’t be shy. Come say hello. Show him a good time like ma-maw taught you now.”  Pap gave me a drink of whiskey and made me smoke some marijuana first. Now this wasn’t the first time Pap gave me whiskey or marijuana. He gave me my first taste of whiskey at age 7.

Pap said, “It’ll take the edge from you.”

I cried and said, “Why Pap….no I don’t want to do this.”

Pap did something to me that he’d never done before, he beat me with his fishing rod and threw whiskey on me. Then he threatened to throw a match on me if I didn’t have sex with this man. With tears rolling down my face, I laid there on that bed where I seen the act of sex performed by Pap, Ma-maw , and their lovers. Our eyes met, and Pap didn’t look away. He sat and watched , and I hated him. I hated me, and I hated ma-maw who set in the next room doing nothing. When the stranger finished, Pap called ma-maw to come into the room. When she came in I looked into her eyes for comfort, and for tears of regret. But instead she said, “You a lost soul now little girl!”

All this time…..all these years I thought they loved me. How could they do this to me? What I do to deserve this?

Then Pap Said, ” Daughter you’ve entered into womanhood, and its time to leave home.”

I said, ” No Pap please… I don’t want to go with him.”

Pap said, “Go ahead he paid me a nice amount of money for you. Come on….let’s not keep him waiting.”

One last time, I looked to my parents who birthed me for consolation. I thought that this was one of Pap’s sick jokes.Until the stranger dragged me out of my parents house.  No it was true….pap sold me to this man for $500. And in that moment I realize that I was nothing to them, but a lost soul.

I Let You Down


While sitting in my office  my phone rings.  Frantically, I answer the phone, “Hello… pumpkin how you doing? She breathed heavily into the receiver and shouted, ” I RELAPSED LAST THURSDAY!”

My heart rose to the center of my head… I kept hearing over and over, ” I relapsed last Thursday.”  I leaned back in my chair in unbelief.

In my line of work, relapsing isn’t a good thing. It is a death sentence depending on the person.  I worked so hard to keep her off of the street.  What next?

I thought, “You fool!”  For the first time, I felt useless.  What kind of Case Manager am I? I can’t even keep her off the street!”

I pinched myself and wondered, “Is this real? This is a dream. I’ll see her tomorrow and everything will be fine.”  A tear dropped from the corner of my eyes.  Then a flood of tears came.

She started crying and said, ” I let you down….I’ve been clean five years. Look at me now.”

  • I’m thinking, ” It’s your fault.  You didn’t go to the CAG meetings. You didn’t see the Therapist, and you barely saw me……Your Case Manager!”

Feeling guilty at the fact that I’m thinking this way. I’m not thinking about her. I’m worried about my ego, and the agency.    Then I thought, ” What would I want someone to say to me?”

I said, ” No! No! You didn’t let me down! Everyone makes mistakes. Can you come see me today?”

Her crying stopped.

I couldn’t hear anything.

One more time I asked, “Can you come see me today? We love you.”

Still sobbing she answers, ” I’ll be there in an hour!”

A Preacher’s Daughter

wpid-25d6386398fd0135990fee67d4215d29.jpg   A Preacher’s Daughter

A Poem of Pain

Written by : Janiese Wesley

On my eighteenth birthday

I left home with a backpack on my shoulders.

It was 12 midnight-

I jumped out the window and ran down the hill.

A Preacher’s Daughter

With no regrets of my childhood. I wanted to express myself so I told the world,

I’m ready to explore- so I ran away.

Escaped on the back of a white truck with a man that I didn’t even know.

He showed me the world of cyber space, chat lines, and pornographic pictures.

A Preacher’s Daughter

Womanhood called me and I ran to her.  She held me close and stretched her arms wide around me.She rocked and cradled me with hard liquor, weed and PCP. We danced all night like crazy lovers wishing that the party would never end.. Soon a day turned into 3 days and 3 days became 2 weeks.

A Preacher’s Daughter

Drunk in Lust and high from whatever potion the man cooked on his kitchen stove. He told me his penis was magic and I believed him. I’m eighteen and he gave me LIFE. One day our adventure stopped. We stopped at a Truck Stop. Our adventure ended cause he paid 5 truckers to perform a TRAIN on me.

A Preacher’s Daughter

That day I looked in his eyes for validation, love and hope.  But his eyes were hollow like somebody drained life out of him. I cried, “Mamma!” He said,” Hush girl yo mamma can’t do nothing for you now!” Visions of my mamma scolding me on the day I left was only a memory now.

A Preacher’s Daughter

Oh I wish she was here.  If I could hear her hollering at me or saying something- anything but this.

My soul left my body. I laid lifeless on that dark, dirty meat truck floor. ALONE

They stole my innocence-

Now I’m blue bruised…RUINED

Blue Moon


It was our tenth anniversary& I was celebrating at Blue Moon with my man Reuben, Santos, Jerome& Steve all friend’s since elementary. Reuben would take me with them on the weekends to show me off to these guys.

Each one of them had a different lady every weekend except for Reuben. Reuben and I were inseparable. It been that way since high school, and we loved each other.  I lost my virginity to this fine dark strong man (Reuben) in the back seat of his daddy’s truck on a cold, snowy night. At age 15, we had our first child, Lena. He married me at age 16 against my mom ma’s wishes. Hmm! She couldn’t resist his smile and deep voice. All the women couldn’t resist my Reuben, but he was mine- All Mine! All night we laughed and danced to the rhythms of Sade and Ledisi.  We danced and Reuben did all sorts of nasty tricks to me on that dance floor.Then Reuben bought two rounds of drinks for everyone at the table.

He gave me a warm kiss on my mouth because he knew I was worrying about our money. I hated being broke after we partied all night.  We partied until they threw us out, and the owner Sly Jones threatened to call the cops on Santos and  Jerome for starting a fight with a bouncer. My Reuben knew Sly from long ago and he made a deal that Sly couldn’t resist. Reuben knew how to talk people into anything he wanted them to do. Hmm! I guess, that’s how I lost my virginity.  He talk me right out my panties, and I didn’t care.

We waved good night to Jerome, Steve, Santos and there lady friend’s. Reuben had to help Santos to his car because he kept falling all over the place. As long as we’ve known Santos it didn’t take much for him to get drunk. Then we got into our car and drove home. On the way home we cuddled and held hands lost in the hard liquor and intoxicated with love. We laughed and talked about the night events.  The snow came down heavier and it was hard to see.  Reuben turned on the defroster, and the windshield wipers.  Then he wiped the window with the palm of his hand.  I started wiping off my window on my side.

Then it happened……

An 18 wheeler out of nowhere was speeding fast coming toward us. The truck couldn’t stop and it  lost control. Reuben tried to keep the car steady but the force of the truck collided into us pushing us around and  around.  I called Reuben’s name, but he didn’t answer.The airbag from the steering wheel buried him.  We kept  spinning and spinning. I hit my head into the windshield. I couldn’t feel my legs..I couldn’t feel anything.  My head was pounding from the impact of me hitting the window. When I looked out the front window, I saw where the road was coming to an end. I reached for the steering wheel, but realized it was jammed.  It wasn’t moving.  I tried to reach for the brakes, but I couldn’t feel my feet.

We reached the edge of the road. The car flew in the air- flying, flying, flying and BAM crashed  into a deep ditch. I’m sure I died before we landed.


One Year Later

I’m out of my mind. One minute I’m married, and a  Housekeeper at the Grand Swan Hotel.  A mother of 2 fabulous children, Lola my feisty 10 year old daughter and my 6 year old son, Reuben Jr.  I can’t even move. I’m afraid to speak. Christ.

What is my name?

Kris….no Mary Ann. Oh What’s my name?

I’m standing naked under a bridge in the daytime. How did I get here? Where are my clothes? Oh my God….I don’t even know my name. My head is hurting. What’s wrong with me? Where are my clothes?

A car swerves to keep from hitting me. A man driving by in a truck starts honking at me and he yells out the window, “Move you *itch. Are you crazy?” I stand there in the street DAZED.

I yelled, “I’m not crazy! Don’t you call me crazy!”

It’s as if my head is on fire, and getting  ready to pop off. I’m moaning, my head is spinning. I whisper, “Please somebody help me! Where are my kids?”

I want this pain to stop.

Why won’t it stop? It doesn’t stop. My stomach is hurting, and bile rises up and settles in my throat. I opened my mouth and a horrible taste and smell of vodka spews out everywhere.  It won’t stop coming. The more I bend over the more it keeps coming.

“Maim,” a woman’s voice calls from behind me. “Can I help you?” Then she places a warm blanket around me.

“Can I take you to the hospital?” The nice lady kept pleading and pleading with me.  She was getting on my nerves.  Her voice made me mad.  I wanted her to shut up and leave me alone, but she wouldn’t be quiet.  I must be out of my mind.

The world looks black around me.  I start walking and the lady kept following me. I turned around and a wicked voice came from deep inside of me, “No leave me alone! I don’t want your help!”

As I turned to run, my feet caught up into the blanket and I collapsed head first onto the pavement.  The lady ran over to me and tried to help me up, but all I saw was Red.

Red and Rage took control and I hit that nice woman in her face.  I tried to jack up her face. I hated this woman and she didn’t know why.  I hated her for being white. I hated her for putting my children in CPS.  I hated her for that fatal car accident that killed my Reuben.  My children cried, “Mom ma don’t let them take me! Please mom ma!”


I have no idea what happened next. All I know is that I got up off the ground and put that woman in a  head lock. Literally, it took three men to pull me off of her.  Then the cops came and handcuffed me.  Before reading me my rights, i looked over at the nice woman laying lifeless on the ground.  Paramedics were trying to revive her. I couldn’t even see her face anymore.

In a split second I lost everything! 

Aunt Toots Smile


Hello everyone its been awhile. I’m back just like I promised and this time I’ve written a poem about my Aunt Toot who passed away this past February. She was a very remarkable woman who loved God, family, and life.  She loved life, and celebrated others. I hope that you enjoy this Poem. Let’s take a peek inside her life!

Aunt Toots Smile

It was Summer…….

She had white pants on with a beautiful black blouse. Her gold sandals played peek-a-boo under those white fancy pants.

I thought, when I grow up I want to be just like her. As she laughed and talked to Daisy my grandma, and Aunt Melba, her hair gently blew in the wind.

I can still smell her perfume just like it was yesterday.

Aunt Toots Smile

She was classy, sexy, and a sophisticated lady.

She wore red nail polish on her fingers and toenails. I wondered, how long did it take her to look that beautiful.

I wanted to paint my nails red too, but I was just a little girl in pig tails.

As she talked, she raise her hands and diamonds danced on every finger.

Aunt Toots Smile

She never spoke very loud. Her gentle Spirit spoke for her.

Her smile brightened my day, and her wisdom drew broken and lost souls to her bosom.

She treated everyone with love and kindness.

She wasn’t one for gossip or silly chatter.

She’d give you a look, and you knew to hush up that crazy talking.

She didn’t care what you thought about her cause she was going to be herself.

Behind her smile she saw hardships and pain.

But she keep on smiling.

She captivated my heart like a single red rose standing tall and proud.

Aunt Toots Smile

Some wondered, “What her secret was?” They say,” Why she smiling?”

I believe that she saw heaven. She wasn’t afraid to love others unconditionally.

Aunt Toots Smile