Issue No. 20 | Spring 2019


I am mad with love for my mother.

My father calls me foolish for it.

Her children do not like it either.

They visit my home often,

And sleep in my bed,

And scoff at my progress.

“Why have you not done better for yourself?”

They ask.

“It’s complicated,”

I respond.

So they laugh,

And turn up their noses at me.

But they wear my clothes.

And sing my songs.

And in time,

Their laughter stops,

And they understand this strange land.

Which reminds me,

I have been gone from Mother for far too long.

I must visit her soon.

I hope she still recognizes me.


Renaldo McClinton is an actor, writer, and musician from Shreveport, Louisiana. Renaldo's areas of interest include African and African American history, Black literature, gender and sexuality, and African oral traditions. He is currently studying oral history at Columbia University.