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Independently Dependent

July 12, 2019



Step over to the public square

Snag a bench in the shade

I am safe

from the oppressive South Carolina sun


Crack a book about the adolescent brain

Because even though a teacher

Is physically off for summer

The mental game never strays


Few pages in before

A man situated on a busted up beach cruiser

Sidles up beside me


Whatchu readin’ youngblood?


And this is how quickly a conversation can start with a lonely soul




"Summer Sessions: Commonwealth" 

By the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU


“Commonwealth is a principle of sharing and co-ownership.  It asks us to recognize our interdependence with each other, as individuals, as communities, as nations.  Many countries celebrate their historical independence from others, yet all countries continue to be dependent on others in old and new, visible and invisible ways.  Independence and dependence are intertwined.”







I told him I was a teacher

Which ignited a light within

A lost spirit


However old, or whichever walk of life we take,

Sharing what we believe to be true

Is a pillar of what it means to be human 



The man with a backwards hat and painters pants

Acknowledged he didn’t have all the answers

Yet his humbled self

Armed with his truth

Asked me to pass his ideas along to the kids

To keep his legacy alive


Love, hell, right

Remember those three words


With a strain in my face, he could sense I was confused


My man, what I mean is that

If you love someone

Go through hell

To get it right


I nod in appreciation

as we slapped and dapped hands

Signaling the end of this interaction

Between independent men

Who are dependent on 

Conversations in our communities 

To nourish our collective conscious

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