O.S. Brooks

Rookie (02-29-1980 / Pennsylvania)

Grave Yard Shift - Poem by O.S. Brooks

My mother works the grave yard shift
Says “overtime will help pay the bills”
I hope she's right
Because behind her eyes
This shift, this trap, is killing her smile
She laughs and remembers her yesterdays
Where her children were children and didn't have to visit
In high school, I once threw a party
And invited the neighborhood
She came home and kicked me out the house
I lived off the streets
Where I learned to write poetry
My brother had a rap group
My older sister got a divorce
My younger sister discovered boyfriends
I moved around with the army
I later went to war
She sent pictures of life still moving forward
I missed home as soldiers do
With a canteen and a smile
She took on extra hours
Her daughter became a minister
That year
She was the proudest mother on the planet
Said “the blessing is coming”
She prays her children will come close to Christ
Where their bright smiles can never dim
I hope religion is not a waste
I hope religion works for them
I send my kids and stay at home
Hoping they get enough to form their own opinions
My mother works the grave yard shift
Her cup is always filled with coffee
Her ash jumps off her cigarettes
My Life...
I hope it's worth her pain

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Maya Angelou

Phenomenal Woman

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, October 2, 2008

Poem Edited: Thursday, October 2, 2008

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