Jeans by Jaha Zainabu

There comes a point in a woman’s life
When we stop to ponder yesterday
The transformation from then to now
People we’ve met and been along the way
The prompt of the musing comes
In an array of fashion

An old photograph
A familiar scent
The recent exodus of a lover
Whose footprint led us to the father whose
Humanity broke our hearts first

Spring cleaning is when it happens to me
When finally I give those favorite pair of jeans
Fashionably faded perfectly at the knee
To the local Goodwill, Salvation Army or my favorite niece

This time I will not convince myself that
One day they will fit again
Or that I will suffer to commute myself into
The woman bygone again
These jeans will not ever kiss these lips
Or hug these cheeks again

The beauty finally
Is that I don’t want them anymore
They are not quite big enough
To hold the woman I am today
These jeans belonged to a girl
Whose favorite song had more to do with
How she could move to the bass

Than what she could learn from the lyrics
And she wore them well
Model thin with flawless skin
And the insecurity of a thousand impotent men
A good girl who compromised until sacrifice became her addiction

I am not so flexible
These are her jeans
They don’t fit me
Not anymore




In 2002, while seated on a beanbag in a crowded poetry venue Natalie knew her life would be far different than she envisioned. She had never shared one of her poems and even writing outside of a journal was new. With a few poems, dedication and a bunch of passion Natalie went on to make the Los Angeles Slam team, get accepted to NACA and book a full college tour and run a monthly poetry venue, The Siren Collective. Natalie soon began developing her own curriculum and her love of teaching emerged stronger than ever. At the recommendation of a fellow poet, the legendary Stan Lathan asked her to facilitate a poetry based educational event, after a job well done he followed with an offer to join the cast of Debbie Allan's Def Poetry ALL star show. The spirit of contribution always extremely central to Natalie’s life work she continued to support Da’ Poetry Lounge nearly every week since 2003. As a result of that commitment and dedication in 2010, she become the first female producer and host in the 15-year history of Da Poetry Lounge (the nations largest weekly poetry venue). That same year, Natalie developed and facilitated innovative poetry programs for under-resourced youth as Director of Poetry for Collective Voices Foundation, teaching eight classes a week at five different schools. Natalie is currently teaching her private workshop, Reconnecting: Vulnerability and Integrity, as well as in high school classrooms throughout Los Angeles. From April-December 2013, Natalie has committed to releasing chapbooks to further push her creativity and release some of the poems that would otherwise stay on her external hard drive. Natalie seeks to spend more time creating, collaborating and teaching in the years to come. She currently lives in Los Angeles. She enjoys love notes, working in the middle of the night, black tea, and spending Sunday’s in love.

Be first to comment