I once worked with the daughter of a preacher. We had the best conversations. Once she told me about a sermon that her father preached. He explained to the congregation that people often forget about the fifth season. Intrigued, I questioned, “The fifth season?” Yes! She went on to explain that he was referring to Due season. The phrase stopped me in my tracks. I had never really thought about a fifth season and the anticipation and preparation needed for that season. I am very familiar with winter — cold, longing for warmth, difficulties, frigid times. I look forward to…


They offered me the crumbs left over from their feast.

They said, “Be patient. One day you might indulge at

this table.” I tried to wait as they gorged without guilt.

They offered a crumb of bread here. A drop of wine

there. I grew tired. I began building while waiting.

Found a foundation. Studied the blueprints. Prayed

for the resources. I was forced to build on my own.

To be strong. My table is long.


You are not superhuman and you do not have any superpowers. This is what I keep reminding myself. As we near the end of summer and the beginning of fall, the hustle and bustle return. There is daycare and school and work, errands, shuffling kids from activity to activity, obligations — the list seems to be never ending. Autumn begins and summer is ending. Time to forgo the flip flops and that fun bun hairstyle. We are trading all summer scenarios for fall frenzy. It will take a minute to get back into the routine of alarms, kids inhaling breakfast…


Preach!

Many churches celebrated independence from Covid restrictions on the Fourth of July. After about a year and a half, we were finally free to return to church. Some pastors never left the pulpit. They preached in empty sanctuaries, kept in contact with their parishioners virtually, and provided drive through services — all to remind us that we were not alone and we serve a higher power. Often confined to our homes, (those of us fortunate enough to have homes because these rent prices and mortgages have become astronomical — but I will save that for another article) we were…


Last week it felt like I had a million things to do before my vacation. I needed to pack, shop, clean. Of course, I had everything scheduled out — listed by priority and approximate time, because I am that person. One major task was making sure that I got my hair done. I am still fairly new to my city and I am trying to find the stylist that works for me — one who is on time, attentive and an expert with my tresses. I arrived to my appointment, early of course, and was told that my stylist was…


As human beings, we want to succeed, we want to do well in life. We have been told time and time again that “failure is not an option.” I think that phrase is misguided and misleading. With maturity — or should I say age, I have discovered that this was not sage advice. Leaning on this belief that failure is not ideal, I took the safe route all too often. I rarely failed because I set my goals low enough that failure was nearly impossible. That is what I did in my younger years. I tried to choose safe relationships…


There is a warning sign that flashes on my dashboard whenever my tire rotation and oil change is due. Every 3,000 miles, my tires must be balanced and rotated. Once I asked the mechanic if it was really necessary. Could I just skip it and save money? I knew I needed the oil change but the balance rotating thing sounded like a bit too much. He told me that if the tires are not balanced, the suspension system would be affected. Plus, my tires would not last as long. I would end up spending far more money than I would…


I hear it several times a day — on the news, from friends, from colleagues, the vaccines will allow us to return to normal. Let’s not. Pre-pandemic times may seem like the best of times, a boon of productivity, equality, opportunities, everything was so much better before the virus. That’s what our brains remember. The mind has a way of playing tricks on you, you can begin to think that things were better than they actually were. Of course, being free and unmasked was liberating; but the last thing we need to do is return to “normal.” If normal means…


Gazing at the big-eyed owl, I knew I was in trouble.

He stared through me, examining my interactions –

How I was devaluing myself, minimizing my wealth,

Ignoring my stature, skill and might for childish delight.

He stood right in front of me. I knew then. I was not right.

Wrong acquaintances, descent into doubts, delving into disaster.

He startled me. Peering, lurking, standing. Demanding more of me.

Clarity — was what I saw through those cold, bulging eyes.

In this symbol I saw raw emotions, so impactful that I still

remember that very moment till this day. All predesigned.

Pray for wonders and signs.


Since we could not take the brutality of bodies hanging from oak trees

We are now asked to accept the subtly of a barrage of endless shots.

“If you do this, then you won’t get got.”

Not

Realizing that placating pain is insane.

We die. We cry. Oh well.

In our death dress, cloaked in stress.

Enshrined in lines from verses. “Father, forgive them…”

Go ahead, God. Forgive them. I don’t. I won’t — pretend

That sin ends in a place that scurries from Know, stifles Grow.

There are seeds to sow. Rise and open your eyes.

Beware of disguises. Masks moved. It behooves

us not to be complacent with cowards. We will not remain

downcast in doubt and defeat. We look up. We look ahead.

Know that

onward we march. Forward we go.

Tanesha Russell Yusuf

T.R.Y. Life learner, mother, daughter, poet, teacher, rights crusader. Always on a mission.

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