SPLIT THIS ROCK: Poems of Provocation & Witness

Winona Addison


based on a true story

High school
High school
Army Reserve
One weekend a month,
That’s all,
Smart young lady, right?
We’ll pay for your education.
Five more scholarships follow
College bound
Future looks bright, right?
Middle of first semester
You eighteen yet?
Good, get your hair products ready gurl
no more college for you right now
Tour of duty
First ever, right?
of course…
by the way
You have just been officially fooled---
we mean, officially schooled
Uncle Sam style



Winona Addison has performed spoken word at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and numerous street fairs in San Francisco throughout the years. Her passion for expression and self-empowerment was fueled while teaching poetry, intergenerational writing, and short story writing to inner city youth and immigrant women in Oakland and the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. Winona is currently working on a project entitled, "Hair Memoirs, Perspectives and Unspoken Truths: from black girlhood to Black Womanhood." This project engages in a collaborative of photography and poetry that captures and conveys memory, life, and culture of African American females and their hair.


Published in Volume 9, Number 1, Winter 2008.