A Freeverse Poem

Me in my classroom. Report card pick-up day (which is why I’m dressed up).

Who am I?

I am a Woman.
A Black Woman
Born from activists parents.
A Panther Cub —
a child of two members of the Chicago Chapter of the Black Panther Party.
Destined from birth to be a Revolutionary.

I am a Teacher.
Twenty-five years in.
Trying to give my Students:
a voice, a safe space and love.
A place to develop knowledge of their ancestral greatness, and a sense of pride in their heritage.
My Revolutionary Spirit,
nurturing other Revolutionary Spirits.

I am a Cat Lady.
a Self-Professed Crazy Cat Lady.
Owner of SIXTEEN CATS,
or more realistically speaking, they own…


The best place to psychoanalyze people is in the bathroom

Photo credit to Gabe Pierce on Unsplash

Hobbies. Everybody seems to have a hobby. But my hobby, my hobby is the best. It’s not like that guy, you remember him? From high school? The one who walked around with what seemed like every book he ever owned clenched tightly in both arms and crammed into the overstuffed book-bag that he was nerdy enough to carry over both shoulders, instead of letting it dangle cool-like over one shoulder, so he could use the other arm to sling over his honeys.

Yeah, you remember him. And you remember that he didn’t need that loose hand, cuz he didn’t have…


Photo by Jurij Kenda on Unsplash

A trip to a ghetto McDonald’s gets you more than just some fries.

“I want McDono’s!” Tyesha yells from the backseat, her high-pitched voice almost a shriek.

“Me too!” Travelle pipes in, balling his little hands into two tiny fists and smashing them into his thighs.

I glare at them through the rearview mirror, already tired and irritable from having been at the mall all day with a nine year old girl who thinks she needs to go to school looking like a super-model and chooses only the most expensive items in the store that show cleavage she doesn’t have…


Photo Credit: Nicoleta Lonescu on Dreamstime

Part for five of the bad listener series discusses the different types of judgmental listeners. If you missed part 4 of the series about oppositional listeners, follow the link below.

There are different types of judgmental listeners. Some judgmental listeners are judging you. You tell them stories about things going on in your life, and they are creating an entire negative profile of you based on what you tell them. They are unable to separate what they would or wouldn’t do from how they think you should handle a situation. Now, don’t get me wrong, we ALL judge when we…


Photo Credit: fizkes on iStock

Bad Listener Series — Part 4:

In part for four of the bad listener series I discuss oppositional listeners. If you missed part 3 of the series, follow the link below.

Oppositional listeners’ sole purpose in listening to you is so they can contradict everything you say. They are often negative people but sometimes they are only contradictory to certain people. They are also very insecure in that their need to challenge every word you utter can be caused by multiple reasons:

— They need to sound more knowledgeable/savvy than you.

— They inwardly feel you (or sometimes everyone) is smarter than them, so they contradict…


A Coming of Age Story

Photo credit to Lisa5201 Pierce on iStock

It’s the first hot day of the summer. Momma finally let me wear the strapless, short jumpsuit that I’d had to sneak and buy. I’d saved my allowance for weeks — skipping the afternoon snack from Mr. O’Neal’s store that I wasn’t supposed to be having anyway. That sacrifice has helped me get my ‘summertime figure’ as Momma calls it. I told her that Diane had given me the outfit and that, since it was a gift, it’d be rude not to wear it. Even with that excuse, and Momma is big on etiquette, I still had to beg. Momma…


Photo Credit By Antonio Guillem on Shutterstock

Part 3

In part 3 of the Bad Listener Series, the Your-Worries-Ain’t Like-Mine Type of bad listener is discussed. These listeners are a subcategory under Switchers — those who only listen to your conversation in order to find something they can use to switch the conversation to themselves. Switchers are discussed in part 2 of the series:

The Your-Worries-Ain’t-Like-Mine type are people who, when you call them because you need to talk about something/someone that hurt you, or something in your life that is troubling, instead of listening to you and helping you talk things through, their way of ‘comforting’ you, is…


Photo Credit on Shutterstock by pathdoc

Part 2

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand: they listen with the intent to reply.” Steven Covey

So, we have discussed bad listener type 1, The Uh-huher, in the first part of the series. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, here’s the link:

Now on to…

Bad listener series Part 2: The Switcher (still part of Type 1 — people who just don’t listen to others.)

The switcher’s SOLE PURPOSE in listening to your stories is so they can grab a nugget from what you’re saying that they can relate to themselves that will enable…


A Tale of a Teenage Pregnancy — Ended

Photo by Melanie Wasser on Unsplash

***Trigger warning: this story details the experience of ambiguity or regret during an elective termination. It may be difficult for some readers***

The air is suffocating me. The smell of alcohol, antiseptic and cleanliness threatens to smother me as I sit in the cushioned chair, anxious and afraid, sandwiched between my mother and my best friend, Rhonda, who flip through magazines with pictures of smiling white ladies on the covers. Wonder what they’re so happy about.

“Come on in, Regina,” says the lady in the white coat, smiling, standing at the doorway that leads to death. I stand up and…


Part 1

Photo Credit nicoletaionescu on iStock

So begins my BAD LISTENERS’ series. I’m sure we all know one…or some... or a whole bunch of them. And we must be cautious not to BE one.

Bad listener type 1: (These may not be in any particular order, but, in my opinion, this is the worst type) The Uh-huher

These are people who, well, just don’t listen to others at all.

They honestly, don’t care about what’s going on in other people’s lives. If you are not listening to or talking about them, they’re not interested.

They remember nothing of what you’ve said in the past (because they weren’t really listening and thus not retaining), so if you’re telling them a story that’s connected to a story you’ve told them before, you have to retell that…

Carla McCarty

Writer (MFA in Creative Writing), middle-school English teacher (25 years and counting!), college English instructor and crazy cat lady (owner of 16 cats).

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