Mother tells me she loves me
But I think she loves my sister the most.
It’s pretty obvious, from the way
Mother smiles as Loving braids her hair and
Pins the ends with those light blue ribbons.
She looks like a queen, thanks to her.
I wish I could hum just like Loving,
And make pretty little songs like the one
She sang this morning:
“Mother Happy, Mother Happy,
Come take a seat,
Mother Happy, Mother Happy,
We’ll bake you some treats!”
But it’s hard making up nice songs
When I know that’s beyond my limits.
And it’s going to take a long time
For me to learn such artistry.
It’s hard because I’m just Humble --
Born caring for truth
Over who is higher than me.
But it doesn’t help that I think
My skills are growing small
Next to Loving’s stance of royalty.
A better daughter than me.
That is the truth, what is meant to be.
Twin sister Honest says to stop whining
That I have plenty of time to learn,
Enough to write three nursery rhymes
For each child in our street.
That it would be weird for all of us to braid
Mother’s hair at the same time.
That a minute is too short for her to love us
All at once.
“I mean, look at your older brother,”
she says loudly.
“Patient knows to wait his turn,
The Big P knows better than to doubt his mother.”
Sister Persistent huffs and shakes her head.
“Maybe Honest should go take a ‘Big P’ herself,” she says.
She tells me not to bother with her,
Assuring me that a flower closing its petals
Would still have its color.
That a mother who needs to sleep
Would still love her daughters.
But I don’t believe her.
In her dreams,
She can love the best child
In our family.
And there swoops in Brother Forgiving,
“Surely Mother takes a long time
To share all her love
When there's a field of us to pass around.
Now Little Honest, apologize to your sister.
And next time, dip your telling of truth
In a bit more sweetener.”
I visit Brother Grateful’s room,
He walks in circles as he nods to me:
“Admit it, Humble,
Everyone adores Loving,
Has breathed to hear her stories
Of granting valentines,
But we can admit this:
Her skills are not easy to master.
Sometimes, people denounce her
When she says it's time
For her to leave.
Their knowledge grows weak, abandoned.
The thing is,
Not everyone is fond of her
As a teacher.
This is when she seeks help from me,
A child who slips by their hands easily --
The most forgotten in history.
But when sprung back into their heads,
Together, we remind her students
To treasure their days together
And not give her up just yet,
Because she'll always come back to them.
Oh no, Loving is not a hero, but her heart is sweet.
She needs her family, and so do we.”
I sigh as Sister Tolerance
Leads me to the family room;
Brother Selfless is quick to offer me
The last oatmeal cookie.
They tell me to remember, remember
Mother may have birthed a Princess,
But take a look at our crowns.
They fit perfectly
When we hold them together.
Accept Loving’s growth, and ours the same.
Living with her in the sun and I in the rain
But who says the weather will never change?
I just wish I can ask Mother
If I can braid her hair,
If I can hum with her at this moment.
Sister Brave pushes me to the backyard,
“Mother isn't going anywhere,” she booms to me,
“There's nothing to lose
Except for the raw doubts
Boiling within you.”
Here in the garden,
Loving is smeared with dirt from the daisies.
Mother Happy is smiling
And I see Honest’s feet vanishing at the corner.
Mother knows, she already knows!
But I see my brothers and sisters flooding
Into the backyard, having a taste of the wind.
And in this light, we are all held in one being.
Mother Happy places her blue ribbons
Into my trembling hands
As Loving continues to dig and sing for me,
I should have known better
Than to doubt my family.
Mother is now smiling at me, at me
And all my siblings in her vicinity.
She starts to twirl in the garden,
And with no words,
I can already tell
From the way she danced
Among her children of sun and leaves,
How happy she is to be,
The mother of the Soul Family.
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