Karla Brundage


1. The brutal killing of black people must stop children are
2. Not meant to be hungry give them lunch and Freedom
3. Schools that teach self-determination and community
4. Employment is a right not jails close them and stop police
5. Wars of aggression that support unjust laws in this land
6. We need bread, education, just peace, control of new
7. Technology should make health care completely free to we
8. Demand prison reform and reform to so-called crimes under unjust laws
9. To carry arms to protect ourselves and power to determine
10. Our destiny, is not robbery by Capitalists, but Unity



One hundred balloons all with
your son’s name on them
A garden of Dahlia’s with
purple garden

Old time reggae stars
Rastas whose names you carry
albums I did not commit to memory

Please take the cat
Her warmth when you
Play your Sims game please
Take that too stay
\warm/ in side

The gas stove and
our heater \steamy/
herbal teas mint, lavender
lemon, echinacea licorice.

Please enjoy them without me.

Especially conversations
under the sun, on the porch
where there is only your \empty/ chair
the years we raised our children
these I would like to keep for myself
but I give them to you.

And finally, take my last straw
put it behind your ear nestled between
the pencil and the chopstick
when you accidently reach for something
you will find me resting there
light and useful



My heart is at the dog’s belly. Lying in the street, blood.
No one returned to pick it up.
A man with curly brown hair dead.

A silver heel
Slamming of metal doors

I went home that night and all the
Glasses fell off the shelves.
You could see right through me to the other side.
I told you not to go there, daughter said.

0-15KARLA BRUNDAGE is a Bay Area based poet, activist, and educator. Born in Berkeley, California in the summer of love to a Black mother and white father, Karla spent most of her childhood in Hawaii where she developed a deep love of nature. She is the founder of West Oakland to West Africa Poetry Exchange (WO2WA) and is a board member of the Before Columbus Foundation. Her poetry, short stories and essays have been widely anthologized and can be found in Hip Mama, Literary Kitchen, sPARKLE & bLINK, Lockjaw, Nervous Ghost Press, Bamboo Ridge Press, Vibe and Konch Literary Magazine. She holds an MA in Education from San Francisco State University and an MFA from Mills College. Her most recent project is co-editing a collection called Colossus:Home which features poets from the Bay Area in solidarity with Moms4housing and advocating for housing justice. Her work can be found at http://westoaklandtowestafrica.com as well as on https://www.karlabrundage.com.

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