What We Make

Rosalyn Cliett



Dear Zora,

Up until now I never heard of you, I didn’t know who you were or what you did. I’d never read any of your books, seen any of your pictures, or watched the movie Their Eyes Were Watching God. Even though I don’t know how that got past me, because I am a big fan of God. Then you became the NEA Big Read Festival of 2016. Compliments to Drexel Dornsife and the Writers Room.

The Festival started out with a Big Bang. There was a keynote speaker about you and your most acclaimed book Their Eyes Were Watching God. Immediately after the speaker Dr Cheryl A. Wall, there was a Drumline Performance that led us out of the Auditorium and onto the streets (those who could follow) and paraded through the streets to Drexel’s Dornsife where there was an Awesome group called “Darla” who was already performing on the campus ground. And to hear the collaboration between the Two was AMAZING!!! And we celebrated with others from the Neighborhood, with food and drink. It was a Great Welcoming Party and Fellowship.

Then we met on Campus. You were wearing a Black Coat with a Big Fur Collar, a Cutie Hat, and when I looked into your face between your Big Smile and your eyes, I could see a Mischievous Child, who liked to cause trouble in a playful way. It was nice to make your acquaintance. We were also given the Book to read Their Eyes Were Watching God and an Event Calendar of all the times and places you would be. And I only missed one (Poetry Slam). We celebrated You. We celebrated your life and your artistic contributions by way of “The Museum of Art,” where we saw many more Pictures of you and met some of your associates. We also met at The Free Library where they did an African American Diaspora, with Dr. Andrea Abrams, Dr. A Yemisi Jimoh, and Prof. Ed Pavlic. I heard stories about you, read your book, and the discussed your Life and work from People Who Admire You and Respect Your Work.

Thanks to “Writers Room” and “Drexel Dornsife” we have become more than Acquaintances. I found a Fellow Colleague and Friend.







Sitting alone in my room on a Sunday morning watching television.
The Ministers first, the gardening shows and designer make over, then colors.
After I turned the television off, things got very quiet and still.
I began to think and thinking leads to feeling. Then it dawned
On me, I had nowhere to go and nothing to do.
Then the irony hit me, I have two sons by birth, and
Three girls I raised as my own, 16 grandchildren and four great
Grands, and yet I sit, I live and I’m always home alone.
Except for my relationship with a very close friend who said that
He would not ever leave me, nor would he ever forsake me.
He is my Lord and savior who passionately loves me to life.




Trembling in fear of the unknown
Peeking around trees for safe passage
Not knowing which way to go
I started crying, running and screaming
Fearful because of the many sighting
I saw her hiding over there!
No! She’s near the corner store!
Look Out! Run! Hear she comes
She seems like she was omnipresent
Appearing everywhere at the same time.

Rosalyn Cliett

ROSALYN CLIETT is a native resident of Philadelphia who loves to write and do anything creative. “I came to Dornsife to use the computers at KEYSPOT. Writers Room and the side-by-side course Philadelphia Stories are not only exciting, they are stretching me—and both are essential to my destiny.”