The only thing my mama ever gave me was the ability to write the things I could not say

When her brother was shot six times in the face

When cancer claimed her grandmother’s life

When she lost full custody of us

When she was sentenced to 6 years in prison

Her heart remained intact…she let the pen bleed


In all that time she never called

She never had the courage to say she was sorry for missing everything

She never said she was sorry she missed my first kiss…the first time my heart broke

Really the second

The first time was when my 13th birthday came and went without hearing her voice


I thought she was a coward, hiding behind pen and paper

Sealing her thoughts in a crisp white envelope

Mailing them off, distancing herself from them; distancing herself from me


I hated her

I loved her

Fix her Jesus!

I cried to Him all through the night

The mornings light brought me no joy


Who could understand?

A love so deep as ours

One dripped in hate, regret and resentment

One that refused to apologize


Focus on your studies, teachers said

Your safe now baby, daddy said

Jesus will work it out, grandma said

The world glared at me

Keep it together!


For a writer the equivalent of skin kissing blade

Is pen to page

A pain that soothes


With my mother’s blood rushing through my veins

Boiling with a rage that only we know

I screamed from the tip of a ball point


Wounds flew open unapologetically

I bleed


I bleed until my veins were dry

I have never felt more alive

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