Saturday afternoon truth
told by thick brown hands,
stories of survival and struggle until both
sound like all the names of the black mamas in the neighborhood
Hymns and laughter
imparted in between sections of greased scalps
that smell like coconut or yesterday’s frying oil
Here, little girls get to disappear
feel their mother’s heart beat
as her fingertips massage away her little girl worries
not turning the jump rope fast enough
getting picked last during recess for dodge ball
on the floor between her mother’s legs
the little girl’s father appears in a new light
fresh and foul
like discounted gizzards
she learns why to save
why the pulled out back seat of her grandfather’s Cadillac is a
treasure in the garage
safe Saturday rituals become
sanctified Sunday religion
and all this from sitting in between her mother’s legs
getting her hair
She say for her family
she do what she can
when in reality it be for her
man / who wants a mother like her son
so she wipe both they asses and then her tears cause it be from the same shit
Too tired more/more tired than her mother who taught her how to stay
who lived and died the same way
the palm reader etched on her palm
now that she know/she can remain calm
when he come to bed smelling like fuck nut
and dried saliva.
He’ll say it’s all in her head
so she have nightmares of
forever being a fool.
from the book,
Copies available here
40 Words of Wisdom Every Parent Needs to Give Their Child
For the holidays my girls bought me a few things but the BEST was a coupon book they made for me.
They’re growing into their own little people so they give me a hard time with wanting to cuddle and hug and kiss on them. With that, they made me a coupon book so I can cash in on some time and I won’t get a fight from them.
Just one of those things that warms your heart 💖💜
You pick the words today… I’m speechless.
This art is from my amazing friend, Sage Gallon.
20 Life Lessons My Mother Taught Me
7 Ways to Remember the Hurting Mothers This Mother’s Day
I came / black girl
Dark black girl
2nd generation city girl
Mama gave me all she knew from what was torn between rebellion and fear.
I know fried spam and boxed potatoes
hot nights with white sheets over fans
I know the aroma of lost time / depressed eyes that shame your sunshine
I know a dream deferred / every word
Every pebble on its beach
I’ve swam on it
Drowned myself in its waters more times than my fingers and toes
And I still have enough space on my back for you.
I don’t know about you but I welcome them. I am not afraid.
I believe they come to give. / not take.
He left in 2010 and tried his best to prepare me. I wanted my optimism to be greater than his thoughts. And this wouldn’t be the first time the will of my optimism won over his years of experience. Now looking back… I wonder if he handed me those victories? Declaring my optimism for me solely.
So I walk into a room and there he is. My father. The room is full of other people but when I walk in, it’s as if he has been waiting for me. He does that stare.
/ the one where he makes me blink before him.
/ the one that makes everyone else follow his gaze to me.
/ the one that embarrasses me.
/ the one that validates me. yea, the stare that matters.
He announces to himself, but aloud, that I have arrived.
“There she is!”
I am excited to see him. I remember a gift exchange (that I wasn’t prepared for), some sort of event that moved everyone outside and some buses. Then morning came.
And he was gone / again.
I’ve been wanting to see him. I’ve been wanting to ask him about my play and my new book. I didn’t get a chance. Time went so fast and so much was going on.
I got his smile and his stare and him announcing me to everyone in the room. I believe when they come in dreams, they come to give. / and I did receive.