A Poem for Ali’yah Arnold’s Bridal Shower

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So I think I have finally gotten out of my writer’s block. And with this piece ,I could not think of a better way to be inspired. One of my closet friends, my cousin, my sister in Christ, Ali’Yah Arnold is getting married and today was her bridal shower! It is always hard when people ask me to write poems for them. You would think I would be able to just write up a piece real quick. (No) But today in preparing to write this piece, I asked a few folks about what they thought about love. I also thought about the different phases that Liyah and I went through as we got older. I thought about all the guys we used to like and all that jazz. I began to outline the different phases of how we viewed love. I really like how this piece turned out and Ali’Yah loved it.

I am sooooo happy for you Liyah. Thank you for your friendship and love.

Love you honey – B


Love today means something so different than love was then.

Love then in elementary school was Ronald who thought you were cute

Love then was how compatible our names fit together with the guys we liked

Love then was if the resident guys tried to holla at us

Love then were the guys who we pictured having cute babies with

The playground rhymes we made up and sung about the couples in our grade.

The childhood crushes who gave us our first butterflies in our stomachs

Love then was Justin and every girl in magnet who loved him too.

Yes love today is different

Cuz love then in middle school were the new people we met

Love was the sharing of the sacred

Love was exploring the mysterious

Love was Amir

Love was who we sat next to on the bus on the way to band trips

Love was meeting high school guys who thought  we were cute.

Love was writing four page letters and folding them up in complicated ways for them

Never to be folded the same way again once our boo folded it back up

Love then was different

Love then in high school was official

was all about our sweethearts

All about photos together

Love was filling up scrapbooks

1st real dates

1st times without our mom’s supervising us

1st real anniversaries

1st heartbreaks

Love was singing Alicia Keys: “Remember when we were younger you were mine….my boo”

Singing all the songs from middle school and thinking we really knew what they meant

Love was watching Love and Basketball finally

And knowing that one of the knuckleheads around us was gonna be our “Quincy McCall”

Love then was different

Love then in college was triumphant

It molded us into women

It moved us from frivolous crushes and meaningless connections to something with substance

Love was mature

It took us on trips to different states

It prayed with us. It cried with us.

Love was everything we thought it could be.

Yes even then love was different.

Who would have thought that we would be here like this

And as I write these words I’ve grown to see so much more about love

Yes love back then was different

But it was different for who we were at the time

But it was the same

Love then and now is the same

You see this was a love that began before we were in the womb

Before we grew up to be the women we are

That love then has been growing ever since God said “Let there be light”

Ever since He created the heavens and earth

Ever since He sent His Son

That love then is that same love

that healed our broken hearts

That love then is that same love

that comforts, that teaches, that we have trusted, that gave us security

That puts us through a journey for us to tell stories of it.

That inspires us to write songs and poems about it to try and understand it

That has levels and degrees to it

That became what we needed as doe-eyed girls at Browns Mill Elementary to now

That love has still become what we need now as women, children of God, leaders in our fields with degrees and cars and homes of our own.

Love then and now is what we celebrate today and will continue to celebrate

For it is the love that God has given us as an answer to our prayers

It is the love that God will one day bless me with and has now blessed you with in Charlie.

And that is an amazing love.

A love that is worth all the things we have been through until now

That is an awesome love

It is and always has been.

BCB 7/5/2014


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