My Mama’s Flowerbed

My Mama’s flowerbed

Painted my fifth grade canvas

Freedom-green

It spoke to me

Every morning before school

And every evening before bed

When it seemed like the whole world was spinning one way and I was pushing against the current

Psst

I would hear

Sounding from the balcony –

You are here

You are alive

And you will get through this.

x

I learned to love

the art of growth

and the beauty held within it

and within all

Who cherish their growth,

for the warmth and rawness

With which those flowers bloomed

Made way

For Closed eyes and Open hearts

And not

The opposite

x

My mama’s flowerbed

Taught me to whisper my secrets

To drops of dew that sprinkle atop pink petals

Like they’ll never evaporate

To

Trust

In nature,

for it is constant in one thing:

that it will forever change and grow and evolve

I learned

to Find the breathtaking beauty in this.

And once I did?

My words started pouring out of me like rosewater

A honey-colored energy followed my every move

And no matter what time of day it was

I felt

Like there were sunsets dropping softly into rivers and oceans and tears

I could now

Welcome emotion

For the magic that it is.

dead

My Mama’s flowerbed, I tell you

Kept me safe and grounded

By the grapevine’s welcoming arms

Tightly embracing my flaws and broken pieces with protection and

Chlorophyll

x

I learned to fill

My hurting wholes with this

soft earthy soil

Humming peacefully beneath my feet.

Praying that this earth would do to my soul what it does

To the abandoned remains of my papa’s fruit salad

Scattered

Seeds of anger

Spat in the heat of his political fury

Remember

The mint

Never stopped growing

Even when my papa yanked a handful for his rushed cup of tea

 

My Mama’s flowerbed

It

Turned my darks into beauty marks

And pushed my flaws to flow into one

Overflowing river

Of authenticity

And confidence

But my Mama never understood

Just how two sunflowers of the same seed could

Entangle their stems

And learn to love each other

Bask in the same sunlight

And kiss the same moon goodnight;

For this Earth gave birth to all kinds

Of misunderstood beauties

x

My Mama’s flowerbed

Wiped my tears with leaves of acceptance and belonging

It was only when the sun

Would envelope my face in warmth

That I’d be able

To envelope my letter

Of shame and suppression,

Mark it with a stamp of pride,

And mail it to the dangerous outskirts

Of my comfort zone

This flowerbed

Is what elasticized my heart

It can now

Stretch across men and women and both and neither

Because I

Have grown organically

And my eyes

Are not bound to popular demand

There is beauty

In us all

But

It’s funny ’cause my Mama

She was never like her flowerbed

And her kisses were never pockets of love

And I think I screamed loud but to her ears

It wasn’t loud enough-

Mama

I am not a spirit-shattered girl

But I swear that this world blooms

In Closed eyes and Open hearts

Because it’s closed minds that tore us apart.

 

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