#BlaPoWriMo: Too Close

December winds gust
into winter. She clutches
Michael Kors handbag.

Pale knuckles press
through white skin.
She peeks over
her right shoulder,
spins around.

You live here?
This your apartment? she cries.
Yes. I point. Upstairs.

Purse held tightly to
her side, she lets me pass.
Maybe I followed

too close.

© 2016 Nortina Simmons

This actually happened to me back in college while I was walking home from the bus stop. I spent the rest of that afternoon wondering if I looked so scary that my neighbor (whom I’m sure had seen me before) would suspect me of potentially purse snatching. Was my afro too big that day? My jeans too loose? The music from my earbuds too loud? My face too mean?


17 thoughts on “#BlaPoWriMo: Too Close

  1. Oh man.
    Last winter, my husband and I walked an apple cobbler over to our neighbor. We wore the (dangerous) hoodies I mentioned in my recent comment.
    My black neighbor hollered at us, asked us who we were, what we were doing. He didn’t recognize us, lol — he said, “I never see you without your dog!” There’s a very specific group in my neighborhood and if you don’t belong, someone will call you out and threaten to call the cops because you don’t have business here.
    In our case, it’s not racially (or hoodie) driven, but then, we’re a diverse group. We’d be alright with little green men on our street, so long as they mow the yard and don’t run anyone’s kids over! 😛

    Your fro is adorable. I am not afraid of hair. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I get self-conscious about it sometimes, so it’s always nice to hear love for the afro power. Lol.
      I guess it’s only human for us to be suspicious of people we don’t immediately recognize. It’s still unsettling though. Me? A criminal? I’m too cute! haha!
      My neighborhood is full of elderly black people who are suspicious of EVERYTHING — green men, hoodies, expensive cars. We used to call my neighbor across the street 2 Wants to Know (it’s a segment on our local news channel 2). She’d call the cops on your dog if it was lurking around the neighborhood. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha! On the one hand, I think it’s good and cuts down on crime, but on the other hand, there seems to be a fine line on busybody behavior!
        I feel just like you do. I look like anyone’s mom, how can I possibly seem threatening?!? Some people are twitchy, I reckon.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great poem and love the story with it 🙂 Would love to see a picture of you with a afro, LOL! Yes, I wanted the Panthers to win, not because I really care about football, sorry! But just cause I wanted to laugh at my friends who were Bronco fans! LOL! I know, so nice of me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry Joy! My sharing settings are really weird. I’ve always had it set to show the reblog button on all my posts, but for some reason I had to check everything else to make sure it actually showed up. Funny how I never noticed that until now. I honestly don’t know how anyone else has been able to reblog my posts. Lol. The reblog button should be there now!


      1. I was able to reblog it with the WordPress button (Press This) but it Reblogged it with the poem at the top and the wording at the bottom. It looked like it had left off the wording at the top, but I don’t think it did. I think it put it at the bottom. ??

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Kind of weird, but hey, it worked, so I won’t complain. Thanks for the reblog! 🙂 I’ll try to make sure the button is visible on my posts from now on. I’m still not sure why it wasn’t before. I’ll just have to blame WordPress and all its unnecessary updates. Haha!


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