All posts filed under: Poetry

Biome

I have failed to root each time — nothing is home But for 41 weeks, I was hers, and she is now mine. Filleted on a platter of surgical steel With crinklings of stark white sheets garnish disguised as comfort harsh, sterile cotton temporarily disemboweled anesthesia flowing the highways of my flesh doctors and nurses come to and fro opening the pomegranate cavern so that my caged bird can sing and breathe life Breathe. noun. 1. the air with which we take in or expel from the lungs like a blown out tire. 2. what we hold when life becomes too erratic and anxiety grips our soul. 3. the action one takes when s/he is about to experience a miracle. The cardiac monitor, cold and white red beams rise and fall on a lackluster screen beeps the voice an aria Lorelai’s love song tachycardic no more a canzonetta sull’ aria My village My warriors My dulas My medicine medicine men The iambs of the heart the ebb and flow tempo of an amniotic sea a …

Reflections

You were born into a world of sound — the cacophony of the uterus — the iambs of my heart, the ebb and flow tempo of an amniotic sea — yin  yang— harmonious rhythm. The uterine song we shared — two souls tethered by flesh. My belly button buddy.  I nourished you into life; your breath nourished my soul.  The appoggiatura — the unexpected grace note christened by pixie dust. Lorelai, my life-song. Thanks for reading! If you enjoy Raising Mothers, please consider making a one-time or recurring contribution to help us remain ad-free. If even a fraction of subscribers signed up to contribute $1 per month, Raising Mothers could be self-sustaining!

The Other Tattoo

  i first saw it after a nurse scanned my mother’s skin under a blue light searching for a vein to insert a new lifeline where illness swelled her arms and hands as she laid unconscious i already knew my father’s last name inked on one hand though i never asked when how or where she got it did she hide it from her mother did her mother find out and disapprove my mother who told me not to wear make-up questioned the length and fit of my skirt even though old photos revealed a woman who wore cherry red lipstick on full lips and strutted long-legged in cut off shorts now the doctors search for clues and a cause was it the cancer that returned or the ailments stacked against her in this moment of stillness and searching i notice another tattoo i look close to read letters that perhaps were once black, now faded green and i imagine someone other than the woman i’ve known all of my life but only part of …

Bantu Knots

my daughters gaze wide-eyed at my hair they’ve never seen this style in their three and five years of life oooo mami your hair they say as they count and name them rocks on a moon ladybug polka dots a hundred and ninety-nine bouncy buns eyeballs all around town bushes on a summer sun grassy day i resist the urge to correct offer a label other than what they have divined there is no enlightenment better than their own  they are correct to fascinate over what grows from our heads Thanks for reading! If you enjoy Raising Mothers, please consider making a one-time or recurring contribution to help us remain ad-free. If even a fraction of subscribers signed up to contribute $1 per month, Raising Mothers could be self-sustaining!

We Three Were Water

July 13, 2013 I: Khari Before today’s protest at Union Square about Trayvon, I sent one of the coordinators a Facebook message: “My son wants to attend the march you announced. Under the circumstances I do not want him to go. Terrified for him, living in Amerikkka.” Please let him come, he wrote. Please. Does your son do any public speaking? He should speak today for a few minutes about what he is feeling. I replied: “He is 19 and swears he is going despite my objections. How do I know the NYPD won’t crack heads? I am so scared. Black people aren’t respected anywhere. I am a black mother of a son. Don’t know what to do anymore.” He did not answer. What reassurance could he, a Black man, offer anyway? My mother, my sister, and I surrounded Khari as he laced his sneakers. “No! Don’t go,” we cried. The cops are already feeling some type of way. We three were water, corroding his steely will. II: History Lesson Children younger than he, the …