***Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
Oh. How many times I’ve heard, “I wish we could take you home with us” while swaddling a newborn, positioning a lactating breast, counting pushes, and smelling the scent of new life. By the way…it is an earthy smell; a muted sweet scent of all outdoors (quite interesting when you think about it). Oh. How many times I’ve thought, “I am my own home. I’ve always had to make a home in me. You should learn to do the same. And have the courage to inhabit it. Without. Help.”
Besides, the man of my choosing is coming to paint my kitchen a vibrant shade of green in the morning and I wouldn’t dare miss him (and I’ve been considering a mauve for the bedroom – whatcha think?). Furthermore, I only lie my head down under roofs that motion to all the places where the guns are hidden.
We’ll talk later. The lesson must continue at some other time. I can smell that the Cornish-hen is ready. I can feel the clock approaching quitting time. And I can hear my own baby start to stir in her crib. I left her walls nude. Perhaps her first word will be blue. Again, I will call the man of my choosing and he will oblige to pigment yet another one of my walls with the color of oceans.
I have so much to do. In my own home. Perhaps I should thank you for reminding me?
It’s a weird feeling. Yes, ‘weird’, for lack of a better word. This disconnect that sometimes happens between mother and daughter. To know that she was indeed your first home. But now. You must be home.
A plot of land.
A shore for the weary.
And a lighthouse for the lost.
You can’t help it. The urge is inherent. You will spend forever. Trying to build a bridge. And the construction is louder than the destruction. And if it wasn’t for the flames, you could both get to buildin’.
Mama says, “When you are really tired, you won’t have to tell anyone.
You will stop proclaiming it from mountaintops,
or rallying around your tiredness in the village square.
Naw, baby! When you are really tired…in all your blackness
and sexiness and woman-ness, the world will feel it – a guttural
cry from it’s core will rise up! All words coming together until there are none.
(Have you ever heard a woman’s holler
when the news hits her lactating breasts that there will be no child to feed?
Lost to the auction block or while clawing its way through the vaginal canal?)
It is a sound that you can hear even in your sleep –
a sound that tattoos itself onto windpipes.
The essence of you as a Black. Woman. with the gall to be tired will halt
the earth on its axis. And everyone…everyone will hold their breath if only
for a moment. And they will know. So, naw baby…you ain’t tired just yet.
The earth is still spinning.
And you are still talking.”
I was young and fragile.
She held me,
With teary eyes that were
beaming with happiness.
Continue reading She’s my Mother.