20 November 2010

"never again"

This is the first poem I wrote about my mother... a year after she passed away (in 1996)...  it took me years to finish it...  and it marks for me the beginning of my journey as a poet...  It was accepted for publication by WomanSpeak (Caribbean Women's Journal of Writing & Art published in The Bahamas) - and the issue has finally been published after years of hard work!!!  Congrats to WomanSpeak Issue 5 2010 and the editor Lynn Sweeting for a beautiful journal!!! I just got my copy and wanted to share this now published piece on conscious vibration.

never again
Angelique V. Nixon

once I felt ashamed of being my mother’s daughter
but I am not her, and what I have from her is all I needed.
I let all the other things about her I dare not say,
go far away, as her spirit seeks rest and hunts for peace.

once I felt ashamed of being a woman,
because I saw the woman my mother was,
she was all that I did not want to be,
I ran from her and the person she revealed to me.

so ashamed
living over da hill, filling empty stomachs with stories on walks to the well,
draping worn sheets over broken windows,
growing into the teenager who lied about these things.

so scared
the boyfriend who beat our windows and her,
mood swings tested my faith in her words and god,
rat bat nights into endless rows making gramma vex.

so angry
leaving me long before
she died, hiding the bruises,
her distance grew wider with each inch I grew taller.

resentment soaks through the girl child who has seen too much,
distrust settles hearing another broken promise,
the walls grow wet and porous
like sand castles at dusk, in between knowing and fear.

watching my mother waste away, tore at my walls,
the last time I saw her—recognition meandered in her vacant eyes
and the wonder if she really knew it was me, hung in the air,
this puzzle sticks like a hungry potcake following me home.

memories remain opaque, held in vaults of shame,
locked away, until I broke through,
outside the perceived, in troubled shadows,
I found place, a space to breathe.

now, I feel myself (me) being a woman,
being the woman my mother wanted me to be,
strong like saltwater, defiant like moon tides,
independent like the sun, cool like summer rain.

    and now, no matter my wish to save her,
    I am never ashamed.



Unknown said...

Beautiful, poignant, and healing. A reminder that we are the ones that we have been waiting for. In healing, we get from the past what we need to be.

Solangé said...

Beautiful, brave and very moving poem. Speaking the unspeakable. Most likely quite a few daughters have a love/hate relationship with their mother, in different degrees. So this poem is -at least for me- very recognizable, even though each of us have a different story, a different past, a different childhood, a unique relationship with our mother. Thank you so much for sharing, Angelique:)!