‘Voices From Harlem’ –Fictitious Anthology

Av Sepia Roses
A special project I wanted to do for Halloween…I knew the concept of the costume I wanted, which was a ghost from the 1920’s/1930’s, but being a writer, I couldn’t help but take it a step further and think about crafting a bit of a backstory & history behind my costume. It led to a poem I wrote entitled "Recollection" which is from a fictitious anthology of poetry set during Harlem of the 1920’s and 30’s called "Voices From Harlem". I’m very much inspired by the greats during this period such as Zora Neale Hurston & Langston Hughes and am excited about the possibility of writing this anthology of poems. Hope someone finds it half-way interesting and hope everyone had a great Halloween.


by V.G. Grace

Poem from fictitious anthology "Voices From Harlem"

I came on a ‘Carolina wind,



certain I could take on

the city–

my mother didn’t raise a fool.

My eyes were the color of spring green grass;

the city had in store for me

somethin’ cold and fast.

A shabby boarding-house room

was all I could afford–

was no matter,

I was gonna save my money

and trust in the Lord.

I met a good-lookin’ man with a coolness to his ways–

fell hard,

didn’t know it was gonna be the end of my days.

It was good for a piece,

but it turned sour


I was too simple,

he needed

"a ballin’ gal";

I thought him so beautiful,

so slick.

So I did what he wanted–

changing my



and head

turned myself inside-out.

drinkin’ the nights away,

my lips painted his favorite color: blood red.

I did everything he asked and more,

but one night

he said he’d found himself a different gal–

that I’d become a bore.

I watched his back recede

into the cold



I grabbed a bottle of whiskey

and drank

to wasted affairs,

Then I bought a bottle of wine

and drank ’til I didn’t care.

I started

dancin’ wild

in the street;

–didn’t hear that automobile comin’

or saw it’s lights,

but my eyes did land on the moon in the sky

before hittin’ the concrete.

Don’t know why,

but my last recollection is mama in the kitchen frying fish,

fresh cod.

My name?

It was Bertha Todd.



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