Friday, December 6, 2013

A poem a day for 2013 - day 339 - Called to carry

I know what it is like to feel a baby kick inside the womb
To be unwed and unknown
I thank God for the rainbow the day my son was born

Our blessed mothers
Our mothers who believed
Our mothers under mercy
Once barren mothers
Fertile and faithful wombs

Blessed wombs housed our babies
John and Jesus
Oscar and Trayvon
Emmit and Tupac
Hadiya, Phoebe and Renisha
Our bold babies
Nelson, Nat, Bob
Our Martin and Malcolm
Assata, Angela and Maya
All of our babies
Yours and mine
You and I
Were home in sacred womb

I know what it is like to pray bent knee prayers
For our infant warriors in the face of
Rape culture and bully nation
Our head raised babies
Hands lifted babies
Our screaming, shouting, singing babies

Our blessed mothers
Called to carry history and story
Ain't they so beautiful

Joseph, being a righteous man
Planned to send her away secretly
Until an angel intervened

Did you, Joseph
Was Mary in trouble
Was she a sinner
Was I Joseph
I know what it is like to have a finger pointed at my belly

Joseph, did you have a favorite Alabama auntie
Who would grits and eggs her for nine months
And rub her swollen belly
Send her away secretly
In secret
In hush

Stories will come from our wombs
They will ooze from our bodies
Men want to control

An angel of The Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream
Flee to Egypt for Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him
An angel
An angel
An angel appeared

Flee America
For Herod
For Zimmerman
For Limbaugh
For stand your ground
Los Angeles
For slavery
For privatized prisons
For the tea party
For the klan
The cross
Will seek to destroy

I know what it is like
To pray your son's safety
To pray his protection from the very everyday
I know what it is like to birth a brown boy
Speaking truth and power

O Mary
O Elizabeth
I honor your sacred wombs
Bless you for your faith
For your worry
For your warm fingers and hands to hold and feed
The babies you gave to us

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