We all go on Crushing Crickets

I am 9 again

Summer has made my skin 3 shades of darker.

They were still using pebbles in the playgrounds.

They were still trying to get kids to play nice, but not trying hard enough.

9 dollars an hour, for them, is not enough to care.

The YMCA staff half listens to the wine in our throat as we hunger for inside air.

There are a swarm of crickets

Clustering against the window sills and jumping from the roofs.

We stomp out their annoying calls and make our own kind of music.

Mom picks me up, and cries me home.

She showers off the musk.

Makes a mistake with the meal and pays with an apology.

She lost a game I have not tried to play.

There is still cricket legs mashed into my soles.

I am 9, dark and naive

I am 15 when I finally learn who made a cricket out of her.

I still wonder why she continues to be silent.







Shasparay’s Bio:  Shasparay is the 2014 #2 female youth poet in the world. In 2013 she was deemed the #2 ranking youth poet in Texas. Shasparay was born in Texas. She represented Austin Texas in an international competition, Brave New Voices, with They Speak Youth Slam’s 2013 team. She co wrote, acted, and directed “WHITEWASH”, a short film made by Queer Youth Media Project. She is a human rights activist, and volunteers with the Amala Foundation regularly. This is her first published work.

Shasparay’s first book of poetry, “Say it with your Chest” was published by Red Orchid Publishing this year. It is available for purchase here.  

She is also expecting to go on a poetry tour with her book and spoken word talent, if she can raise the funds to sustain her on this journey. Please considering donating to her Go Fund Me campaign.