Poem: Brooklyn Gal / by Shanelle Gabriel

My face always been

More smiling chick

Than resting bitch

They say my Brooklyn blood should boil

But my mother who was planted

In Caribbean soil

Would say “Did you wake up next to me?”

Meaning that’s the only time good morning

Wasn’t needed

I come from a time when

You considered unknown men

Rude for neglecting to do

Their daily head nod “Good morning beautiful”

A formality no matter if the

Compliment was fact or fiction

An interaction

Free from the catcalling inflection

Scolded for even shifting legs

For even considering sitting

When someone shuffling

Feet senior to mine

Back more worn

Walked through the train car door

My dad ordered for me at the store

Gender roles were the standard

But no one blinked twice at a tomboy

This ain’t meant to be romance

More reflection

Depiction of my Brooklyn

Where cultural differences

Feel like a lisp on my tongue

What comes

So natural

Labeled impediment

My Timbs thud

Silhouette chippin on the pavement

This uneven concrete

Be the mosaic within me