Tuesday, October 21, 2008

breast cancer awareness month.

for auntie hazel.

I have never seen my mother cry
The way she did the night
Auntie Hazel died
Phone gripped in her palms
Like she was trying to kill the bearer of bad news
No length of arms
Or genetic kiss could lessen her heavy heart
Until my ten year old voice asked her,
“How could an angel become one all over again?”
It was then her tears ceased
Like the raindrops that fell on the monthly car ride to Jersey
Here Auntie, Julian, and her second husband lived
The first couldn’t take the burden of her sickness
I remember Auntie’s same color as her name eyes clouded
Hands gripped to mothers reassuring palms
Said she was tired of being a burden
Was ready for her storm to calm
Julian five, unknowledgeable, plays at the bottom of the steps
Only listening ears would know how much time she had left
We used to have tea parties in her kitchen
Her skinned bronzed like Cocoa
Drizzled into the reflection of my saucer
Her fingernails long, wrapped through the little handle
Her large hand faked like it could fit
She used to want to make me feel comfortable
Little feet dangling over the table
She’d lace my sneakers
Tell me how pretty I was becoming
Tell me how smart I was
Tell me I’d be someone special
I never got to tell her the same
Her slim 5’8 frame
Beauty is unbounded
Weak she carried, baby warriors on her back
Wrapped Kente cloth around her head to hide the hairs lost
But I thought she was playing dress-up again
Auntie I want to be just like you
You were rooted
Despite family tree’s who were negligent to your needs
So you reached out to mommy
We used to walk hand in hand, us three in three’s
She’d quote bible scriptures
From a face of 22 at 30
And I’m sorry I never got the chance to be spiritual
But my spirit is in this poem I wrote for you
Julian turned eight
The day we found out the breast cancer had come back
He and I played video games
When I asked him if he knew why we had come
He said, “Mommy’s dying from a broken heart”
And I couldn’t have put it any better
I asked my mother later, the night she died at age eleven
“How will Auntie Hazel recognize it, if she’s never known a heaven?”
My hands now replacing the cordless phone
She said with words so true,
“Because she’s seen it in Julian, and me, and you.”

1 comment:

Ziggy Za. said...

Very dope.
I'm sure there are a lot of people who would share this same story with you. I'm one of them.
See? This is why I'm a "follower".
You're pretty much awesome.