As I sit back and watch,

A calming truth settles upon me.

Causing the corners of my mouth to tilt ever so slightly towards the sky.

We are not the same.

You with your designer bags and life filled materialistic things.

Constantly strolling through social media trying to keep up with the Kardashians.

Are you happy?

Do you feel some sense of accomplishment as you walk down the street with your nose turned up at those who you feel are beneath you?

My sista, I feel sorry for you.

Most importantly I feel sorry for me.

In the midst of this, I am a Lauryn Hill living in a City Girl world.

And as I sit on this park bench, with my book on Assata Shakur in my hand, and my black obsidian necklace secured around my neck;

I take in all there is to you as you walk by and feel content with saying,

We are not the same, but when you awaken

I’ll be here to welcome you.

Artist Unknown

Embedded in the roots

These trees bare strange fruit

Flowing through generational veins

The poison of the past still remains

Stretching through each limb

Passing through the leaves

And floating in the breeze

Carrying along with it pure toxicity

A curse surviving off the fear of many

Those that are genuinely ashamed

Fingers pointing

Rumors whispered

Only the truth remains

A truth that must no longer leave these withered leaves stained

Breaking a cycle and bringing forth what’s really needed,

Change……

If only life were a fairytale

Then we could escape this cruel twist world

A life where we constantly have to blend in with society in hopes of not becoming a target

Ignoring the fact that you’re already a target.

The moment you took your first breath someone was being taught they were superior than you, someone was taught to fear you, and yes someone was taught that your life was so worthless that they can take it and get away with it.

This is a reality that you my dear boy will have to come to terms with at an early age.

Like Langston Hughes Mother to Son,

You my son must learn what I learned many years ago.

Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair and life for you just won’t be fair,

But as the blood of our ancestors flow through your veins,

Always remember, when you walk out of a room their perception of you will never be the same.

With the purest aura and the strength of a thousand men,

Those tacky stairs in the form of privileged individuals will see what I have seen since the moment of your birth.

A STRONG BLACK NEGUS.

They say you never miss something until it’s gone.

In our case you’ve e been gone a long time.

Too long for me to continue to miss.

Physically you are here, but mentally you’re two blocks over.

Happily engaged with a one night stand that became a newfound fixture in your life.

A simplicity you decided could no longer be found at the home we built.

The home whose foundation wasn’t as solid as you promised.

So now the home is shifted, stairs tattered, and paint chipped from the years of being unhappy and neglected.

Years of thoughtless coming and going for the sake of a marriage that just wasn’t it anymore.

Until you finally come home to the eerie silence and cold stove.

Finally taking notice of the batter house that you used to call a home.

A house that is now empty as you call out my name only to be met once again with silence.

A silence that wouldn’t have greeted you if you had only made it home 5 minutes sooner to see me walking out the door with my suitcase in hand.

The tears running down my face as I mourned the death of the old me that loved you.

The man I thought I’d spend forever with.

The man that now sits at the dinner table thinking about all he will now miss.

All that he can’t get from two blocks over.

The unconditional love that he had, but now it’s gone.

I wonder what I would see if I got a view from their eyes

After all the world is not all sunshine and roses

It’s tough

So tough that many days I find myself questioning am I good enough

A good enough mother, a good enough wife, and most of all a good enough human being

Am I making the right decision to be deemed worthy

Have I earned enough tickets to heaven or would my actions be seen as deeds merely for self gain

The thought alone makes me fall to my knees

Begging the most high to hear my heart

My intentions are pure although they may not appear that way

May I be lighter than the feather on judgement day

But hear in the physical, please find me worthy

Worthy of the love from my creations

My creations that look at me through the eyes of such innocence

Eyes that look past my faults and embrace all there is of me

Because no matter what

I am mom in their eyes

In my darkest times

I called out to you

Desperate for love and understanding

Seeking relief from this sinkhole

I just couldn’t climb out of

Begging to be set free from the Bermuda Triangle I found myself imprisoned in

And as the light faded

Encasing me in pure darkness

You answered, each and every one of you

Let your torches shine bright

Guiding me back to the path I strayed so far from

Filling me with the love I needed when I felt I had none

And giving me the strength to carry on

Though bonded by blood and life long commitments, your actions are what truly make us family.

Photo obtained from Pinterest. Artist Unknown

Can I talk to you for a minute?

I mean really talk to you.

And for once just listen.

Listen to the words as they flow from my lips.

Hold them to the highest priority like an alter to the ancestors.

May they bless our bond after this moment.

A moment that is a long time coming.

There is so much I have wanted to say to you.

I’m sorry life has not always been kind to your feelings.

I’m sorry it made you shut off your love from the world.

As a child I needed that.

I needed it badly, but you could not give it.

At least, not in the way that I needed.

For a while I was angry.

I wondered if I was just unlovable. Now that I know it wasn’t my fault, I forgive you.

I forgive him too.

The man that hurt you.

My father.

You both knew no better,

And in order to heal

I have to let go.

Let go of the doubt and self destruction.

Now I am happy.

Happy that I can say the things and feel the things I never felt.

My children are happy as well.

They deserve that.

Happiness.

Love.

As my mother, you do too.

But you continue to reject it.

That’s okay.

If no one ever tells you or you continue to

Harden your shell.

Just know that how I felt back then

Is how I feel now.

I love you….

As I down the last of my drink, I look into the eyes of the most precious child. She doesn’t deserve what she has to go through now. The person she loves and looks up to more than anything no longer resides in her home.

She questions everyday what time he’s coming home from work and I have no idea how to tell her that right now he’s not coming home, but one day she’ll be visiting him at his new house.

Her little mind won’t be able to fully understand how she went from a two parent home to one. She won’t get that the love and togetherness she was surrounded in is now split down the middle until a mutual co-existent bond can be formed in favor of her.

One day when she’s old enough the questions will come. She’ll wonder where the happiness went so quickly and why it didn’t work. I’ll have to smile in her face and feed her some excuse about how we both love each other but things just didn’t work out. I won’t have the heart to tell her that unfortunately the sins of the parents are too strong to overcome.

It’s been 15 years since I stood in your presence, before that I don’t remember.

The memory of you can’t even be described as fleeting, in reality it’s non-existent.

I used to wonder why out of all of us I was left alone without any memories of you, but then I realize that it was probably a blessing.

None of the others have many memories of you and to be honest the ones they have aren’t that great.

I guess the universe did well saving me from years of heartbreak, years of wondering why I wasn’t good enough,and the vision of you walking out the door I will ever know.

All of that I have been sparred from ever having to feel.

It would’ve been nice to have something though. I guess that’s why I reached out for some type of connection.

Out of that strained connection, I got your voice and your memories of the past.

Some of those good and some of those bad, but still there is your voice going back down memory lane for the few minutes you’re willing to stay on the phone.

And once the call is disconnected, I go one with my life as I have always done.

Wondering if it’ll be another 15 years before I’m in your presence again or if that last time was the final.

“I am not one of your little friends!” I yell out loud before turning to see who said that. Did those words really come out of my mouth? When did I turn into my mother?

Rushing to the mirror I take a look at myself. Those were the same words she used to tell me and now I’m saying it to my child. My pre-teen son who has decided to tap dance on my tolerance level because he’s suddenly the “man” in school and it’s gone to his head.

The pre-teen son who I have helped spoil rotten and is now paying for it. Going back into the room I take him in. Standing there looking like his father. Smooth dark chocolate skin, dimples in both cheeks, a smile that will melt any girls heart, and those eyes that’ll look the devil in his eyes and call him out on what he feels is wrong.

This is my child who has now forced me to turn into my mother all because he feels it’s unfair to lose his electronics for a week. Never mind that he’s acted up in school, never mind that he didn’t empty the trash like his father told him to, never mind that he didn’t change the bands on his braces today that I’m pay tons of money for, and never mind that the dog that he asked for needs to be walked but he spent so much time on his phone he neglected to do it again.

All that does not matter because in his eyes the world is so unfair and I’m the cause of it. So now I have to turn into my mother. I walk up to him, hands on hips, stern frown on my face, and proceed to give him the same speech I received once upon a time and it sounded like this……

I AM NOT ONE OF YOUR LITTLE FRIENDS. IF YOU THINK I AM YOU ARE SURELY MISTAKEN. NOW WHEN YOU ARE GIVEN A TASK, I EXPECT YOU TO DO IT. SINCE YOU COULDN’T DO IT CONSIDER YOURSELF ON PUNISHMENT. IF THE ATTITUDE CONTINUES THEN YOU CAN ADD MORE TIME ON TO YOUR PUNISHMENT. THINK ITS A GAME, TRY ME AND SEE.

The look on his face shows that he got the message loud and clear. Off to his room he goes probably thinking of me as the bad guy. As his door closes I finally let out a sigh of relief. He doesn’t know that that was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. In my eyes he’ll always be my little chocolate firstborn baby, but babying him I can do no longer. So now I must resort to reminding him that I am his mother and not one of his little friends.