Happy Mother’s Day

Imagine a place where:
“Thank you”
isn’t flung at you snidely
at worst,
or hurled with sarcasm
at best.

Imagine a plane of existence
where gratitude
doesn’t soar past you,
doesn’t leave you waiting
at the gatehouse
for a missed flight of feeling
appreciated,
instead of terminally misused.

Imagine,
if you were more than
an emergency contact number,
more than
a sum of digits called upon
to subtract conflicts,
add solutions,
multiply your
contributions of love
without becoming internally divided.

Imagine,
if the hotline
to your acknowledgement
never went cold.
Imagine,
if embraces of gratefulness
enveloped you more often
than post favorite meals cooked,
annual Christmas presents bought.

Imagine a home
where thankfulness is matched
with the same expectations
that you will always be mother,
mama,
Mom.

Imagine a slice of reality
where you didn’t have to imagine
this poem to be true.
So let me end by saying this:
I’m sorry,
for all the times
I didn’t permit “thank you,”
to escape my lips
more often than it has.

I’m sorry,
for permitting this
plane of existence
to feel more like
an act of terror
towards your twin towers
of love and patience towards me.

I’m sorry,
that it feels like
you’re only on speed-dial
when my mind is too slow
to solve my own problems,
that you’re on call just
to do the listening
instead of being heard.

I’m sorry,
if my hugs seem seasonal
at best,
or synced to leap years
at worst.
I’m sorry.

But I am thankful,
for all the love
you still cultivate in me,
for not giving up on this garden
no matter how many weeds
of ingratitude I’ve let flourish.

I just want you to know,
that I see you
and always have.
I love you
and always will.

Thank you,
for being a mother,
a psychologist
to my mind,
a nurse
to my heart,
an optimist
to my ambitions,
a realist
to my dreams.
Thank you,
for being mother,
mama,
Mom,
to me.

I can only imagine
how hard it must be.

Advertisements

It’s Okay

You could hear it in her voice. 
Love,  
could still be detected 
in the undertones but
her tired
was seeping through her syllables,
her weary
leaking through her vowels.  

Drip.  
Drip.  
Dripping through the ceiling
of her patience, 
collecting
in a bucket brimming
with reasons to give up; 
she  
was a drop away from spill,
a touch away from splatter. 

Normally, 
she could summon enough magic
to levitate her smile 
above the skyscrapers of her burdens. 
Normally, 
she had a scripture 
tucked under her breath
to whisper consolation. 

Normally, 
she could pretend 
that spreading herself thin and
running on the exhaust 
of yesterday’s hope that today 
would be better, 
was enough pep
to get her through. 
Normally, 
she had more faith
at the end of her day
than day
at the end of her faith. 

Normally, 
she didn’t wish
to be normal. 
She accepted that life
was carving out her precious
to make room for everyone’s hurt
but hers it seemed. 
She understood
she was given a mountain
to show others it could be climbed, 
but some days
she doesn’t feel like climbing. 

Somedays
she doesn’t feel like hero. 
Somedays
she doesn’t want to be nominated
to be the emblem of strength. 
Somedays, 
she just needs
a moment to cry, 
just needs
a moment to breathe,
just needs
a moment to wallow 
in her vulnerabilities. 

Just give her a moment
to be human.

Please.

More Than an Address

Last month,
my heart beat itself
into my 29th lap at life,
14 years deep
in spilling ink
and I have yet
to address you.

You,
born to islanders for parents
that spoke a dialect of love
so broken,
it could be translated
into abuse
all too easily.

You,
with the mother
that chose to raise daughter
instead of son
for a sum of reasons
I still can’t calculate.

You,
with the austere father
that robbed you of weekends,
summer breaks,
sleep-ins,
and childhood days
to secure a man that knows
he, who cheats himself
from labor today,
saves himself the crumbs
for his daily bread tomorrow.

Last night,
the eyes of the woman I love
inquired for the inventory
to my damage.
Internally,
the barcode of my lashes
pitched a price too high
for my pride to break the bank.

But verbally,
I complied.
My reply:
“I never felt
like I was enough.”

At times,
parental love
felt rationed.
At times,
I envied the island
from whence they came
because the dialect
of the ocean’s love
was all encompassing and
I just wanted to be
loved that way.

How,
in a house with two kids
did I feel like the third option to love?
Why,
did I have to question
if blood was thicker than water?
When,
were you going to inform me
that I was something worth bragging about
well after the party was over,
well after church luncheon?

This,
may not be a confessional
but I needed you to be real with me.
Some twenty odd laps at life
still searching for approval
isn’t the idea formula for sanity,
or the blueprint
for constructing a man’s confidence.
Fourteen years of spilled ink
got me skilled to sink
in someone else’s moccasins,
when I just needed you to show me
how to walk in my own.

I needed to know
what home felt like,
needed to see
that it was more than walls,
more than ceiling.
I needed to know
it was comprised of feeling
more than longing,
of loving and belonging
to something more than an address
I used to call home.