Monday, February 27, 2012

The today - draft 1

We were at Rochelle's
Sisterfriends sharing stories about our hoods
Because everybody's got a story about theirs
We are all storytellers

Little girl around the corner from Blue
Named Melody can sing better than Lauren Hill
Since she was three

Tara's neighbor's cousin had twins named
Remi and Martin who grew up to be
Drug and alcohol rehab counselors
They say Remi had a girl she named Moet
But I don't believe that
We just can't let a story be good enough
You know

But Michelle
Michelle was too quiet
She aint never quiet

The woman upstairs from her
Had a ten year old boy who played basketball
Around the block
Comin' home about to jog up the steps to her house
Somebody shot him

We've all heard stories about kids
Shot on the way home
Mothers crying
Daddies falling to their knees

This time
With Michelle
We got quiet with her
Took a moment to breathe
To be that boy's mother

What it was like to fill a red bucket
With pinesol with ammonia with Ajax with bleach
Scrub the cement walk with brush and tears
While others walk by
Like this common
Like this is her duty

This is no mother's duty

We breathed in the fumes
Halfway hoping that they might kill us too
This is the rainbow Ntozake called enuf

Too many colors
And we go from red to blue to green
Back to black and red so fast
We can't keep track

Of our bills
Of our lives

It is everything to put on lipstick
Skirt and shoes
Stockings are a joke a memory a luxury

There are no songs to hum as we scrub
We take turns
Scrubbing our stories
About life
About when we used to laugh
How we used to love

We hold each other
Because our collective energy might just
Make up almost enough for
The next woman to breathe and make it till morning

We will get her through tomorrow
Today we keep scrubbing

We keep making up songs to sing
About mornings yet to come

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