Words matter

You said the words,

they left your mouth.

They were clear and defined.

It’s almost like – finally – you’ve allowed your mind,

to open up and let your feelings fly.

But – What to do now?

Because the one your words landed on,

the one who has been there for it all,

the one that helped, and cared, and listened.

She’s turned away – so now your backs against the wall.

And maybe it’s for good this time,

you begin to fear.

So you try some new words,

maybe these she’ll hear       —–     differently.

Just claim you were mad,

didn’t mean what you said.

Begin to tell her don’t be so crazy – it’s all in your head.

Try to pretend away the words you said when in front of all others.

For they don’t see how you turn the tables around,

even if they are your sisters or brothers.

But once words are out — you can’t put them back,

because they really do matter and that’s just a fact.

In time though you’ll learn and write and discover,

how to only allow your own words to matter to you

more than any other

Tea and Bread

She wore the same clothes, and no one noticed because she covered the smell with holy water.

That hair,

it was as lifeless as her eyes.

Those teeth,

they went in and out.

Those words,

they came from every direction.

Days turned into years, and I almost forgot.

Then out of the blue my mind hears, that voice.

As it screamed for tea and bread, always from the bed bought by the incarcerated one.

Fear flowed like my blood on the bathroom floor.

That house was not made of glass.

All mouths afraid to speak.

Just watching her from a distance, always knowing that Queen Bees can sting, even when their hands are clenched in prayer.

If gates fly open for her,

I’ll burn like her voice in my mind.


I have been writing poems ever since the age of 15, as a way to save myself. I wrote this particular poem way way back in 1984. I have recently come to the realization that I am a writer. I have always been one. It makes it easier for me now to claim this fact because I have my first ever children’s book published. I am aware though, that while I have always been a writer, I need to take care of the writer, my feelings, by learning how to speak.

So today, Friday, January 27, 2023 I have made this post on my blog, but I have also posted my very first TikTok video. You can find it at @jacquelyncommander on TikTok, This is where you can HEAR Tea and Bread.

It’s ok to remember

Most times when I think about my past, I’m always brought back to the time when my whole world just stopped.  May 2, 1981, 6:30 p.m. to be exact.  And at 6:31 p.m., when it all started up again, I was 15 years old, and a motherless child.

I am fully aware that I am not the first human who never knew her father, whose single mother died young, and then was left in the hands of someone who just couldn’t hold all the weight.  I know there are far too many of us.  But, I am the one who, through my pain, discovered my poetry.  My words offer a chance to see into me.  My story has scars, it may scare some people, and it may make many people uncomfortable. These words on paper helped me discover that no matter what the reaction, it’s ok to remember and give your memory a voice.

I remember

I remember even though I knew she had stopped breathing,

I still put my finger under her nose, I knew, for the last time.

Two weeks in a coma and now, there was no air.

I remember walking quietly into the little pink bathroom and letting the giggle leave.

Was laughing just a nervous reaction? Or did part of my sanity just escape from my lips?

I remember getting up and just running.

Thinking only–where am I going to go?

I remember knowing that if I go back into that house,

I do not belong.

I remember watching them lift her out of the bed.

I remember watching them place her on the stretcher.

I remember watching them cover her up.

I remember them leaving with her and not me.

I remember I was 15, and my mother was gone, forever.

I remember now I have to live with all I can’t remember.

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