Crystal Staircase

by Harry

Submitted by Tanique Huddleston

When we were younger
We used to always say how much we couldn’t wait to grow up
“Glo up” they say
Pick ya ttittes up
Throw on that “freak em” dress
And “slay” they say..

“Slow down” Mami would preach
Langston Hughes would teach
“Life for me ain’t always been no crystal staircase”..
And yet here we are
Staring life in the face
Wishing we knew then
What we know now

I wasn’t ready.
I was ready for the thrills
And chills
Feels up my thighs
And all the things to make my coochie rise
Learned how to “smise”
And sympathize with the ugly guys
Because they were like stys
Blocking my vision from the cutie pies
Play dumb
Yet be smart
Give attention
But not to much
Because guys liked girls who kept things on the hush
Was the color my face would turn when he would pass my locker.

I was ready..
I wasn’t ready for the bills
And the not so free meals
Birth control pills
And the “super model kills” diet
Fit in
Stick out
Because no one ever told me that
Hitting adulthood
Didn’t give a fuck if you were actually from the hood
North side bound
L.A found
If a tree falls in the woods does it still make a sound ?
That’s how hard life hit
But deadly
Although steady
Steady steady
Steadily creeping up
Peaking, but
Playing hide away
There’s no get away from this modern day
Better “take the road less traveled”

No sooner than My period hit
Did my breast grow bigger
My clit got thicker
My face wasn’t so “babieish”
And that bashful smile
Was now tasteless
To an older crowd
So “glo up”
Turned to grownup
Make up
And lace frontals
Took face
And now “natural”
Has it’s own space
Catch up
Slow and steady never wins the race
So you better find your place in a world not made for little black girls trying to play dress up
Sounds something like a setup
Doesn’t it?

But I was ready..
Ready to take on the world
And hit golf balls with a swirl of my hips
And my lips got wit
And my tongue turned slick
Pick a trick
Or get tricked
Flipped on and turned out
Turns out I’m a lesbian
Tres bien !
We all are fiends for new trends
Bins and pins
For a needle is hard to find in a haystack
If I never understood it then
I certainly understand it now
And if anybody ever asked me I’d tell them that I found
it’s a straight fact when momma used to say
“life for me ain’t never been no crystal staircase”


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