Brazen Hussy

by Eden Bryant

She was a "brazen hussy" according to ole Mrs. Lester

Always "Running up and down the halls"

Teasing the boys, playing outdoor basketball

She was "just like her no-good, beer-drinking mother"

Refusing to sit her sister and stealing candy from her little brother

Teasing her daddy unmercifully till the day he left Momma

In the midst of glass breaking, name-calling heavy drama

Daddy who would spend 50% of his last dollar just to please his little girl

Told everybody, she was his real world

Daddy, long gone by the time James got a hold of her,

By then she was just plain rotten

Wanting him to win stuffed bears in games at the fair

and buy her candy made of cotton


One boy was never enough for her

She lived at a hare's pace, the rest of the world a blur

She had things to do, people to see and places to go

Wearing skin tights pants, short-tipped tops, tattoos and an Angela Davis 'fro

She'd sassy her ask-me-no questions down to the pool hall

Walk in the door cool-like

Greet them with a "What's up y'all?"

Like she imagined  Latifah would do when she was living single

that is  before she moved to Chicago

Maybe see the boyz from the hood up to no good,

She'd sit at the bar and order a gin and tonic

Pat her pocket secure that her chronic was still there

Play in her hair, look at the fine ones but never stare

She'd sit up straight looking her best

Stick out the knobs adorning her chest

Hopeful that some rich man would come along and sweep her off her feet

Like a night cop; she'd grown wary of the same old beat

James was long gone off to fight Bush's war

Though no one could figure the therefore

Something about civic duty and claimin' world power

While the clock ticked the poor still poorer by the hour

Then into the place he came

She knew then and there, when their eyes met that her life

would never, could never be the same

Betty from Bobwhitney Street tried to strain to see his 6'3" frame

As it hovered near the bar

But she, the best lookin' in the joint had stolen his attention

He ordered a drink and one of whatever the lady's havin'

Sat down beside her like that spider of lore

Asked her her name and "You ever been here before?"

My name is Morning, like the coming of a new day

He gulped down his drink, faster and faster still

Asked Morning if he could drop her off

Young, full of herself, thinking herself rare, sure that she understood the world

Though she'd never mastered geometry and couldn't read

Never really understood the need,

long as she found a good daddy for her babies, her true goal

When she shook she stirred, believing herself sexier than Beyonce

James was paying on a ring to name her his fiance

She left the pool hall with him that night, rode in his car and rocked his sheets

In the background played some Isley beats

Mutual pleasure obtained she fell fast asleep

The rest of the story I can't rightly tell

Still wonder how night came again when Morning never rose.

You'd be surprised what can happen when you ride off with a stranger

Never anticipating any danger

You know he was never seen in that bar again,

Police questioned Her mother and then asked her friends

No one's real sure how Her story ends

James, off in Iraq, wanting to come back, was never again the same

People say the war killed his spirit

But no, it was a brazen hussy.

Brazen Hussy by Eden Bryant

© Copyright 2005. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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