2 Poems

For My Mother

She bathes herself in hot water steeped in chamomile.

Flower buds float in the reservoir between

her breasts

the roundness of her belly peaks out above the water

warm and healthy.

Her hair is thin, but soft

wrapped in bright colored cloth

she is tired.

Tired of long days and dirty kitchens

and the boss’s never ending requests

‘can you stay just a little longer?’

And she is tired.

Tired of holding back the desire to rip the fake smile

off of her face and walk out of these hell kitchens

with dignity and freedom and promises never to return.

And she is tired of spending half of the day standing up

feet so swollen she can barely make it to the bus stop

joint in hand

the green calms her racing mind and aching body

preparing her for the next shift at home

where her babies yearn for her

because daddy is not home

and never is.

She heats up large pots of water to bathe her children in

and wraps them in blankets and holds them tight against her chest

hoping they can feel her love

and thoughts of reassurance that everything will be ok.

She is tired.

She sits in bath water soaking her muscles and rubbing lotion

into the cracks of her fingers

trying to find the strength to start all over the next day

and the next

and the next.

She wraps her life dreams away in tiny boxes for her children

and hopes they will understand

that this world never meant for her to survive.

And her daily living offers glimpses into

revolutionary dreams deferred.

Hot Pavement
(For My Father)

Hot pavement aroma fills the thick summer air

as children laugh and shriek.

Hose water sprayed into the black streets to

cool the ground and their burnt feet.

Oldies play out car windows

‘hot fun in the summertime…’

A little girl patiently waits on porch steps

for a father who rarely comes.

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

She ask’s

Father why don’t you hoop with me anymore?

Why you so skinny?

Why you bring that woman around when mama isn’t here?

A child’s inquiries become a child’s panic screams

father why you touch mama like that?

Why do you leave?

Why do you always leave?

Little girl screams become a young woman’s strength

no longer asking why you leave

but asking you to leave.

Don’t come around this house you didn’t build

you think the simple act of ejaculating into a woman is fatherhood?

You think spontaneous visits and sports games

makes up for years of pain, neglect and confusion?

The seasons have changed

and the hot pavement cracks with the growing pains of

a little girl becoming a woman.

Learning not to fear the unknown

or herself.


4 Comments on “2 Poems”

  1. ‘For my mother’ is beautiful! Honest, poetic, romantic, raw expression of one of this world’s heroines!

    • chakaZ says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words. Honest, poetic, romantic and raw definitely sum up my lived experiences as a woman and I try to infuse that into my art. Much love!

  2. kristina says:

    Loved these!! Very beautiful F. I love how visual and personal they feel. The way they both speak of strong women amidst the aches of life; real shit!

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