Womengirls in the Back of the Room



Womengirls talk hard and play rough

in the back of the room.

No obedience, no boundaries.

Just a little respect baby.

Dark eyes flash knowledge

saved for a world beyond this door.


Single ladies, So special, Valentino fills the air

muffled words, secret smiles then flipped closed.

Put away along with attention, interest

curiosity, engagement in the back of the room.


Womengirls spit punk defiance

to a teacher’s wisdom

to every truth a book holds

but a reason for living.

In their mind, teachers who listen

before thoughts become words or

push their knowledge can learn from

those in back of the room.


Babygirl’s heroes walk beside them around

street corners, on steps conducting business

side stepping pagers while offered cash

money—no strings just be ready when…

five o’s roll, bang on doors, cuff their heroes who score.--


Sometimes innocence slips through.

Sometimes learning chumps hard play.

Sometimes I glimpse a question.

Sometimes I feel hope.

Sometimes I walk away from

Womengirls in the back of the room.





                                                                   Barbara Toomer Davis