For Her


What is a thousand dollars

if I can't kiss the scars off my mother's feet

replenish the color of her sunken cheeks

stuff her stomach when she refuses to eat

subtract years from her age

and give her the life she lost when she sacrificed

for her unborn child at the age of eighteen?

I just want her to be happy.

If only I were older, a little wiser, a tad stronger

she could give me half her burden and massage her shoulders

of the imprint it left.

Sometimes I curse my black skin and the body part between my legs

if I were white or perhaps a man,

I could hand her the world on a silver platter surrounded by purple orchids

because purple is her favorite color

and orchids symbolize beauty and strength

traits my mother possesses but doesn't acknowledge

because what is strength if pain is still felt?

What is beauty if it fades?



I swear I will make it so that you will never say:

"I'm tired."

"I'm in pain."

"It hurts."

"I'm fat."

"I'm ugly."

Ever again.

I will become older,


and strong

and lift your sadness in one hand

and hand you your silver platter of happiness with the other.

I promise. 


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