This is the place I go to for courage, to say no, yes, maybe.
This is the place I go to touch the gift I keep hearing about, what is it laughter, service, written words, spoken words, words of comfort.
This is the place I go to. I am learning to ignore people telling me what I should be doing, this, that, the other. How do you know what I should be doing? Do you know what you should be doing? When I was a vegetarian and you ate, drank, and smoked, did I tell you what to do? To change your eating habits, drinking habits, smoking habits. You were a mean drunk.
This is the place I go to scream, holler, curse, overeat, or starve myself.
This is the place I go to for me, to be selfish, petty and small.
This is the place I go to thank you for delivering me—you took me out of darkness and brought me into the light. Could not see in the darkness, I was walking into walls.
This is the place I go to Praise you for opening my eyes, to see what I did not want to see, living like a nocturnal animal, coming out in the darkness to hunt.
This is the place I go to for comfort, my soul reaches out to you from my closet, from my place.
This is the place I go to for advice, a shoulder to cry on, a listening shoulder, I want you to tell me what I need to do.

This is the place I kneel down and pray for forgiveness.
This is the place I go to share my secrets, I know you will not betray me, nor will you use them against me.
This is the place I go to, I know you are there waiting, you are there without judgment, you are there with love.
This is the place I go to DAILY.
This is the place I remember you came for me, brought me out of myself.
This is the place I go to and look at myself in the light. It is alright to be me. I thank you for who you made me.
This is the place I go to and say, “Father, I Praise you, Jesus, I Love you, Holy Spirit I adore you.”



I learned how to dress up from Paulette’s Barbies.
My brother learned from the older cool guys.
Crinoline slips are my favorite with white ankle socks.
We’ve all got distinct flavor or style.
Don’t do no good if you don’t wash up!


October 17, 2016

Dear Zora:
I found we have something in common, like Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, we have had to depend on the kindness of strangers.

She left me in Georgia alone. I thought we were best friends. The sign on the door said, “Eviction Notice.” What am I going to do? I have been accepted into college, and I really want to stay. Landed a part-time job, things were looking up for me. Went to my part time job looking sad and Peggy said, “Why are you looking like death?” Mickey left me with an eviction notice on the door. To my shock without hesitation she said, “Come stay with me.” When I heard the story of you moving around doing your research and being housed by adopted families, I felt a familiarity. Having strangers reach out showing love and kindness, is this southern hospitality?

The artistic community I envision has people I have met on my journey, not family. I have met a collage of people from different backgrounds, ages and at different stages in life. My community is defined by those who are not afraid to reach out to people. Sometimes you need to let GOD and the HOLY SPIRIT be your guide. For those who do not know GOD it is what your call your “gut feeling.” Everyone is not out to do you harm, we learn from each other. How to use your voice to express yourself? We begin to understand what sayings like, “that which does not kill you, makes you stronger,” means to you.
My artistic community would have people who step out of their comfort zone and see change as a challenge to be embraced.

Peace and Love,
Brenda Bailey


you say you love me
but the rain keeps falling
gray is the new black.
what kind of love you giving?

sits in the sun all day
eyes closed, head held high to receive the rays
the sun gives warm kisses
feline sun worshipper.

tears flow from the sky
flowers, grass, trees, reach up.
to give thanks
grace and mercy once again reign.

cool fingers massaging me,
hot breath on my neck
warm fingers caress my body
be back tomorrow.

Z is 4 Zora

Z zeal for life

O owner of her way to live

R reaches for the stars

A accolades were always due you


Your face is familiar.

Do I know you?

Now I do!!

Best friends for life.

Brenda Bailey

BRENDA BAILEY is a Writers Room community member and a member of the side-by-side class Poetry of Place.