Tag Archives: Kathya Alexander

FICTION: Freedom Spring

by Kathya Alexander


The daffodils dance in the front yard like tornadoes. Red roses climb, wild, to the roof of our house. This Mother’s Day is alive with hope and with morning. ‘Cept for the slash that is running cross my Mama mouth. 

She kneading the dough for the biscuits for breakfast. She got the radio on, tune to WOKJ. That’s the radio station where my brother, Quint, is a DJ. They talking ‘bout the Freedom Riders, colored folks and whites riding buses down South from Washington D.C. to New Orleans. All of them is students. My Mama say, “This how these chir’en choose to spend they spring vacation? They ought to be home with they mamas.” Then she whip the dough like it’s the thing made her mad.

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POETRY: Fat Plaits and Ashy Knees

by Kathya Alexander


My Mama say when she a girl and she go to school, 
way back when, sometime back in a whole ‘nother century, 
that only the white children get to ride on the bus.  
Colored children have to walk.  And the white kids pass by and chunk mud rocks at them.  
She say the school that she go to is bout 10 miles each way.  
But every time she tell the story, the school get further and further.  
I done heard this story for so much of my life, 
I could tell it by heart.  I am dusting the floorboards 
in the living room.  And oiling our beautiful old wooden upright piano.  
These the two things that I have to do every Saturday  
along with wringing the clothes from out our new wringer washer 
and hanging them out on the clothesline in the backyard.  
Mama sitting on the couch sewing my new dress for school.  
The television is on filled with black and white images 
of little colored children trying to desegregate schools.

Continue reading POETRY: Fat Plaits and Ashy Knees