Mama Said


United States
25° 56' 9.132" N, 80° 19' 36.7716" W

Mama never said the word "fear."
She spoke around it like a bonfire,
regaling me with sweet-nothings.
But I know how to be afraid.
It is instinct like a lioness on the hunt.
I, the unlucky soul, am captured;
withering away with every gnash of her teeth:
piercing bone and muscles and soul.

Mama always spoke the word "courage"
and I didn't know how to be courageous.
Yet my legs still kick
fighting the lioness and I fight 'til I am drained.
It's a lesson she didn't teach because it's self taught.
Mama never said the word "fear,"
that's what she was:
young, misunderstood, a new born in the old world.
But she spoke of "courage"
because that's what she became:
a wife, mother, and role model.


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