Happy birthday Nikki Giovanni!
until you are sitting in the audience
watching actors breathe for pace
and engagement /
then you realize you
pant for a living
you stomp brown leaves and ants for power
chew ice on chipped teeth
to recreate sensation
you know love when
you find a fortune in a forgotten pocket
the one that read, “expect company soon”
then he comes
into your back yard
and disconnects the electricity
and this is a blessing.
you never see light
until you’re in the dark
Lay away your titles and serve
Protect your streets / embrace your breath
and promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
No, you do not.have to be naked
or talk about broken hearts constantly
what about your grandmother who turned
rotten peaches into cobbler?
last years sweaters into quilts?
Trade in your annihilating compromises
shine the jewels on your crown
innovate and smile
part with your learned patterns
like deep cleavage
I am a critical poet.
I don’t think like most and I allow myself to speak what most won’t
I can live with that
stand by that.
I am a critical poet.
“your feet remain planted while you discuss the possibility of dying” – Jessica Care Moore
This is the day the newly established homeless man stripped down to his underwear in the laundry mat and pleaded with the children to stop laughing at him because it was all he had and at least he kept it clean…
This is for my nervousness when I see a shuffled haired white man in the post office with a large duffel bag…
This is me realizing this is how white women must feel when she passes a black man on the street…
This smile is for the day my nephew put his new football on the phone for me to talk to it
then left the room
This is me imagining what his 11 month old sister thought when she walked in the room and had to choose between a football or a telephone yelling her name…
This is in spite of my prayers for love I think he’s lying when he says it..
All this is to remind us we’re human.
For daughters who hate mothers for
not being Grandma
For mothers who hate daughters
Cause she thinks she know it all
If only they’d not played with baby dolls
maybe both wouldn’t be disappointed
This is for the daughters from mothers
Who are now mothers of daughters
That meet at the shore of unforgiving
whose hearts are prematurely laid to rest
Tomb stone reading.. fear
This is for mothers who hate daughters for being just like them
This is for daughters who hate mothers for not teaching them any better
For mothers with old tricks that no longer separate the sun from recycled patio air
For daughters with paper doll necks held upright with duct taped thoughts of suicide
both parked on one way streets without life’s permission to do so
…faces marked hourly with tears
This is for way too tired mothers
Who have true dreams of stress ridden daughters with sunflower crowns
This is for mothers & daughters
who stuff their wounds with spider webs
and catch men with two legs, four lives and a thousand lies
This is a prayer for time to cancel judgment from the memory bank of what was important
For daughters and mothers facing sad reflections
Digging deep regrets
At the shore of unforgiving.
nikki skies copyright 2014