The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood
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Reincarnate by Shye Sales

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My daughter has blossomed into a beautiful butterfly,
She has learned to stop and smell the roses
while avoiding bee stings, but
She cannot avoid the pain that life brings.
She still cries for little lost things, like
Math books, keys,
Puff-her magic dragon and grandma’s knees,
that she never got to bounce on.
I fall on scarred knees to pray
she never cries over subtraction problems
that divide the soul from spirit,
multiplying her pain,
played out on old piano keys.

She once asked me what is ivory.
I refuse to tell her it is just soap.
I tell her it is the remnants of elephant’s symphonies.
The way they learn to sing.
Another lifetime made beautiful by ancestral ugly.
She understands, I know, because
She cries like a baby who has lost her favorite crayon.
I allow her to cry on me.
No woman should EVER be taught to be too strong to cry,
just that she must be stronger than the tears.

My daughter is raised by society,
Peer pressure, and her Momma’s pen.
No weapon formed against her
Shall prosper as long as I am alive,
When I am dead!
When I am dead, my daughter
Will sing life into old bones ground to powder by time.
By the time I am reincarnated,
I will no longer resemble my mother’s wounds.

Transform, cocoon me.
Carry me in the souls of my descendants.
Birth me
Renewed and ready for the next generation’s wars because
I will be reborn the child of a lesser god, again.

Fashion me in hives like workers for the queen, my daughter
Will Nefertiti me Africa,
Honeysuckle my lips,
Whisper sweet ‘everythings’ in my ear to grow me strong;
raise me to God in the blazing Serengeti sun,
bake me to perfection.
She will sing to me the glory of my past.
My daughter will tell me grandma’s story,
my own, in reverse.

Eventually, I will thank her for raising me
with her Momma’s pen and a chrysalis in her breath, and
Upon her death!
Upon her death I will cry for her
like a child, lost crayon,
I will use her blood as ink for my pen,
rewrite her in.
Breathe life into old bones
Ground to powder by time and
by the time she is reincarnated, my daughter
will bear no markings of my past-life wounds

 


Shye Sales is a spoken word artist, poet, writer, and host. She has appeared on BlogTalkRadio. She appeared in the Inaugural edition of Kalyani Magazine, facilitates writing workshops for LGBT youth and young adults. Shye is the author of a book of poetry, Salutations to the Dawn, co-chair of Djeli Writing Ministry of UFC NewArk, She was a co-producer, regular performer at Pmyner’s “Speak Your Mine” Open Mic series. Shye currently hosts, “Crack the Mic”. Se is the winner of the 2013-11th Annual Fresh Fruit Festival Awards of Distinction for Performance Poetry and has a One Woman Show, “Children of the Ghetto”.

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