Bitter Words

jerrod wasn’t planned
love kept him growing in my womb
my g.e.d.  r.n. was for him
i gave him things i never had
kisses   hugs   hearing i love you every day
jerrod was never a regret
he makes me forget my once bitter life
jerrod loves art
that’s how i got to know a basquiat from a monet
he taught me programming   french
jerrod isn’t perfect
i’m his drill sergeant
they’ll be no numbers under his photo
i don’t know why/when/how jump shots became my nerd’s passion
jerrod loves manning up/playing with the big dogs
he makes me forget my once bitter life
what you mean   Jerrod laying out on the court
they mistook him for   who
blood of my blood drained gone   no   no   no
lord jesus    jesus lord   how could you curse my womb
i can’t get this bitter taste out of my mouth
jerrod’s gone i can’t forget my once bitter life

denise bell is a mature published poet. “the village voice,” described her work as “strong, emotional, and proud.” her work was in “off shore journal, live at the nuyorican café, and the chaffey review.” denise’s work focuses on the disenfranchised and those who are forced to live a marginal life.