Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 182 - Choice

Today I choose gratitude
In the face of voices rife with ridicule
The news
Social media
I choose love 
I choose the incense burning in my room
The books staring back at me
The lotion 
The cork board
The camera
These are the things
This is the audience to my boldest poetry
About self love
About babies
About touch and sex 
About water 
About what a woman wants
About pictures of my naked breasts just because

The lamp
The flowers red and purple and yellow
The scarves
The clock
The fan
This is the company

Memories of my father
The first man to hold my hand
My baby feet skipping to catch his church shoed gait
I wish I could talk to him now
I wish I could smell the liquor on his breath
I wish I could pay attention to words I ignored
I wish I could conjure his wisdom from the journals in my file cabinet

These things are alive
These hats 
The photos
I remember painting that picture of the little brown girl with the pink dress
She has no face and large hands
She has skinny legs and tiny ears
She is beautiful 
She is misunderstood
She is steady
She is difficult
She is moody
She is amazing
She reminds me of myself

The calendar on my wall
The chair
My bag of make up
Lip gloss
Nail polish
Even the rug is captivated by stories sticky with prayer
And tears
And voice 
And fists

The ceiling
The fly on the wall
I am open with forgiveness
I am empty of regrets
I am hopeful for tomorrow
I have fears folded in my genes 
I am afraid to let go
All these ancestors breaking through my bones

The Gray family owned my grandmother's father's mother
Her name was Jane
Jane Gray
Jane Gray was a slave who convinced her master to buy Dave
From the Frost family a plantation away
She promised they would make babies
Make babies
And more babies
I am the product of that tree
Of a Jane who made a deal with a white man to get the man she loved
I wonder if she knows me
If she knows that I am the poet she created
As if she spun me fresh from the cotton she picked
I bet they called her crazy
They call me crazy too

I wonder if there were times Jane did not know what to do
Did she ever sit on her bed 
Shout poetry in her head
To anything that would listen
Did she pretend that the suitcase was alive
Did she want to fly
Did she choose love 
I am choosing love today
Because love is a choice today
Because choice is a choice today
Because there are days I feel slave to the dark
Chained to the bed
Today there is choice
Today I am master
I am owner of my mind
My feelings 
My thoughts

I choose easy
I choose slow breathing and mint tea
I choose pink leggings
Pear oil
I choose gratitude and smile
I choose humble
I choose reach
I choose 

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