I love my mother I will love her forever I think. She is the only - mostly the first not the only, but what difference does it make She is the only (first) woman to be love and pain and Discipline and fun and wonder and knowledge to me. For me, she was once life or death And every time she chose me, life for me, life with me I can’t help but love her for that She was the woman who taught me to love myself. My skin. My mind. To celebrate all that made me, me. Because she celebrated all in her. She taught me to love my blackness “it’s brown” she said “because it is the colour of The earth and my skin” The first poet For that, I’m grateful beyond repair She is love In every way, with hugs and kisses With meals and cups of tea With smiles and frowns The love of something deep, strong, true To give and to love. Me, my blackness, all I could be She was, always, The first woman to do that for me She shares herself with me, Stories of her as a sister, playing, silly, a kid And the fondness of her dreams, of a floral shop and pretty crystals, and to have her locs back flowing and long, a daydreamer Histories of her mother and father, and her and my dad, Uncles, aunties, grandmas and friends, boyfriends, a someone to someone else, a her without me Philosophies of her own explorations, an art history of Pablo Picasso, and the ideals of Shona Traditional Spirituality and the intricacies of gender/class/race in modern society, Her mind that knows more, wants to know more And that is the real blessing Seeing the world with her, Knowing I’m even just a piece of her life as she is mine Yes, I really do love her. And she’s not perfect Not to me. I know the sting of a whisper, the pinch of a sharp word From her I’ve seen anger and jealousy and spite enough And humanly so, enough to make me mark them out To note them down And reject them, for their ugliness I have been harsh and cruel to someone, her, many times And this is true, This is all her. But I can’t shy away from it. The sore spots that came alongside the rosy memories. Because my mother is a person. Sometimes, most times, a stranger to me Someone chosen to be my life or death. Chosen to chose me. Cursed with having to know me Cursing me to sprend evey day after, getting to know her To find love or security or joy in her To create an ‘us’, my mother and i She was someone before me She’ll be someone after me And she’s someone in spite of me A whole person This, she will never let met forget. “why must you know how old I am? What does it mean to you?” nothing, because you’d still be my mother with or without me knowing. Absolutely nothing, because you deserve A privacy from me. A you untouched by me. To have a other who is a whole person, Not many get that, I think And for that I am thankful to her She showed what womanhood - personhood Could be like Unapologetic and imperfect She demands to be recognised as whole For me to see her as whole. An outsider to ‘mum’ So, yes. I love my mother. The woman who is my mother, I love. I love her because she loves me. I love her because she loves herself.
Image by Jackie Parker
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