Healing Trauma Through Art: Meet Kaia Tyus

Kaia Tyus is a native of Chicago, Illinois. She currently resides in Plano, Texas where she attends Richardson High School. Kaia is a member of the award winning Dallas Youth Poets Slam Team. One of the team’s most recent achievements includes winning top 12 in the annual international youth competition, Brave New Voices. Aside from performing with her team, Kaia also frequents the stage solo to do shows in the DFW area. Kaia recently did the show, “In The Words of A Little Sistah” here in Dallas. In her free time, she interns at Healing Circle’s events. Kaia enjoys writing poetry, journaling, and doing anything that allows her the opportunity to express herself freely. Some of Kaia’s goals include being a traveling poet and a published author. She desires to relate to others as she tells her story. One of her earliest inspirations to write poetry was Tonya Ingram back in June 2017. Another of her greatest inspirations is Ebony Stewart. For fun as well as personal development Kaia enjoys listening to music, attending workshops, competing in poetry slams, and performing at open mic events.

Back in July, I had the opportunity to hear Kaia spit some poetry when we performed along with Bee Tha Poet and Jazzmen Victoria at the event “Paint, Sip, and Some Mo’ Shit”. Kaia blew me away with not only her talent but her ability to be courageous and transparent as she spit about a touchy subject that still plagues the black community, crack. Crack hit our communities hard in the 80’s but the effects can still be felt today. Check out this piece by Kaia.

“Yo mama so stupid

She climbed over a glass wall

Just to see what was on the other side

Yo mama so old

She still owe Jesus $5 from middle school

Yo mama so stupid

She put lipstick on her forehead to make up her mind

Yo mama so dumb

When you were 5

She introduced you to the second hand smoke of her crack pipe

Yo mama so strung out

She doesn’t even remember how to get back sober

Yo mama so stupid

She doesn’t know you perform poems that make her seem less strung out than she actually is

Yo mama would never know

You keep yourself from hitting rock bottom by talking about her getting high

Yo mama so naive

She thinks you can’t smell burning glass under cigarette smoke

Yo mama thinks you are oblivious, girl

Turn the other cheek

Joke about alcohol with her

Laugh at her when she thinks everything is funny

When she keeps going out

Don’t question why she always stumbles back in

I heard yo mama was a magician

She always makes things in the house disappear




Everything you’ll need to make a house feel like a home



Yo mama so embarrassing

When someone makes crackhead jokes

She be the first one to laugh like she ain’t a punch line

And you are the first one to think she’s breaking on the inside just like you

Yo mama so impulsive

She’ll buy a fix Saturday night because she can’t fathom a Sunday morning sober

The same God that gives us courage

Is the same God that your mother hides from

You think God is an evil man

You’ve prayed for a healed mother

And all he has given you is one that can’t be saved

Yo mama so needy

She asks you to save her from herself sometimes

Like taking the pipe away from her is easier than taking candy from a baby

She prayed for redemption

And God hasn’t given her the strength that we have begged for

So she fears him and all his courage to turn his back on her

So you do too

My mama so stupid

She thinks she’s the only one suffering from her addiction


My mama so addicted

She’ll die loving crack

More than she loves me”

-Kaia Tyus



In this photo Kaia is rocking a Sistah Nova tee by Dallas poet and author Jazzmen Victoria. Smile queen.

You can expect to see Kaia Tyus performing at all of Dallas Youth Poet’s upcoming workshops and events and she will be posting details and footage on her social media pages. You can follow her on Facebook @kaaiityus and Instagram @melanin_barbiie. To book her for your next event, email kaiatyus12@yahoo.com.

About Author

Leave a Reply