By Krystle Zachary
For my mother
I wonder how you were as a child,
Brown skinned, dimpled, eyes shining copper,
Prancing in your white fluffy dress.
He scoops you up, smiles, kisses you.
Scream pierces his ears, and you keep wailing,
You do not know this man.
He places you back in your father’s arms,
And your sobs subside.
Your breathing slows, calm like a lingering tide,
Your white dress billowing in your father’s face.
How was it
Too confident for your own good
Boldly affirming a lie that you thought was a truth
And being plunged in the shivery depths
Barely gasping, thrashing, waves crashing as
You utter for desperate assistance
And you are saved
Motivating your mother
To enroll you in
I think about how you were,
Brown, surrounded by white
Wandering through school
Searching for another familiar face
Refusing to settle with reality.
Up to the front,
Clad in Fourth of July colors
Pleated skirt twirling as you danced,
As you cheered,
For your identity being heard,
For your school to be proud.
I fantasize what it was like
Having your heart pound
As your eyes were glued at Ted
Convinced that nothing could cut them away
Hoping to be noticed
And to know this man...
Or how was it
Linking arm and arm
With close friends
Dreams and doubts
Twirling out of your lipsticked mouths
And twisting into your hang out lounge
Meeting the eyes of males
Sprawling in the halls
While you girls carefully cradle the eyes in your own,
Considering whether to drop them or linger
To hold them
A little longer.
Or the time
Feeling a rush of ecstasy
Flooding your whole being
You venture to a party
At first bright and sparkling
Like sparklers lighting up a velvet night sky
Gets a little tense
A little hot
As boys whisper that you are just that
And you tiptoe away fast
Too fast, in fact
That you leave your purse behind.
Fourth of July colors
Fill the heavy night
Flashing, your body
Shaking, not to the music,
But to take your purse
That the police has kindly
Handed back to you.
What was it like
Hearing your name
Bellowed through the whole building
Reverberating your insides
As you are flooded with the
You prance to the front
In your mini skirt
And snug red sweater
Feeling flashes of excitement
That you get to play
And you kiss the host’s cheek
You did not know this man.
And oh, how so
Was it like
Sitting on the bus
Just wandering, wondering
In your restless or calming thoughts
Perhaps about to nod to slumber
When you saw
With a straw hat
And a sparkling smile.
He is holding a newspaper and holding your eyes
Words pour out of his mouth and you barely hear your own response
And he smiles bigger and he sits next to you.
And you say something and he says something
You feel so comfortable, like you
Are basking in the sun
So very nice.
And you smile, just for him
You have always known this man.
Oh what was it like
Dressed in your silken white dress
Your eyes glowing liquid gold
Your brown skin paints a vivid picture
Of future, happiness, swirling Walking slowly to the front Your ‘I do’ ready on your painted lips
Poised for that moment That seems to stretch for a lifetime
You stare into that man’s dark eyes So tempting to say the words now
Ready to embrace his love, Ready to start a life together.
I wonder how I was like
Brown, round, blinking
My black wet eyes to the new world
Seeing your wet, happy face.
Smelling the perfume of new motherhood
My scream must have pierced your ears
I was thrashing, crashing into the waves of the unknown
But you smiled, just for me
And I was burrowed in your breast, warmth
Like basking in the sun
So very nice
And you said you loved me
You loved me
You have always known me
I Love you Mom!!!