From your milk
be it breast
or formula in a can.
hydrogenated fats transformed the undesirable
we ignored the Velveeta commercials because we knew
Government cheese slices made the best grilled sammiches.
Before reality food tv, everyday was Chopped in our kitchen.
The cabinets and shelves had
bubbly cauldrons with dumplings
smoked turkey necks
fat back, biscuits that popped out of a can, and canned fruit. Go.
We didn't know we were poor.
We didn't know about food insecurity
We were child soldiers, deployed daily by our commander mom
who fought to win the war on wealth concentration.
MamaBrushed our hair neatly,
adorned our locs with ribbons and Goody barrettes.
Little boys hair brushed backwards, forwards, picked up, out and braided in corn rows.
No doubt, you planted seeds in those spaces.
So that we could grow tall and strong.
And while they STARED at us--distracted by our
Intricate styles, you taught us to look from the Aquarian part of our mind's eye.
So that we could really see past all of the lies and mendacity
We sat between your legs while you created
irregular networks of passages and paths on our tiny heads.
And why shouldn't we celebrate that nappy coiled texture?
An intricate and confusing arrangement to them, but beauty to us.
Try not become defeated when you watch Cain kill Abel.
Try not to become confused when the only roses you see are on a liquor label.
Try not to become overwhelmed with hatred when your white swim teacher refuses to get into the pool with your black classmates.
Those standardized tests, don't reflect what mama taught you. As long as you are willing, you can and will learn.
Learn to love with the unlimited powers that divinely flows through you.
Do love one another fiercely.
Do make an extra plate for that elderly neighbor, and deliver it.
Do respect all houses of worship.
Show up on time. Say please and thank you.
and baby, when it comes down to it--don't argue with nobody.
Tag that fool in the nuts and keep it moving.
And most importantly, do you boo. Mama gonna support your wildest dreams.
That's mother wit, for a hyper-segregated city.
Her children sequestered in the ghetto, will not dwell their forever.
Thank you Queen Mothers--related by blood and spirit for raising me.