Saturday Mournings


Those Saturday mornings
I pushed my bed
Away from the wall
Hoping my sister would not hear
Hoping my foster
Momma
Would not hear

Hoping the old wood would
Not squeak or crackle
Too loud
And tell of my desire
Tell of my weakness
Tell of a
Little Girl’s dream
To see her
Mother
Tell of a Black Girl’s longing
for White arms to be
Intertwined with
Black ones
Tell of brown eyes’
Need to see hazel Irish ones
Tell of the truth
Of how I could

Love You Mother

Still Need You Mother

Even after
The Give-away
The living away
The way irony played
In your manic rage
On a Berkeley Street
The day you said you needed
To find her
She, Not me
Offering in my palm my whole
Black heart

But SHE, the daughter you never saw
But needed, no less...
The words still echo in my head
Replay each day
Who?
Wants this Little
Girl?
Drunken Toes
Tap, Tap, Tapping
Desperado’s cadence
on Run over thongs
Who?
Who?
Who want’s this Little
Girl?

Wrist burns
Under drunken grip

“The trick, ” my sister said
“Is to stand the pain”
Twisting my wrist skin
In a game of
Indian Chief
“When you can’t stand no more, you lose!
So you gotta howl like
an Indian... Cuuuuzzz You Lost! ”

Child games
Flashing in my mind
But there is no time
To be a child again
And anymore
But maybe not forever....
And there is no howl
Escaping my lips
Only the train’s
Screamiiiing for me

And I want to be
on that caboose and go aaaaawayyyy
A lone Panthress
Like the poster picture
fuzzy beneath my finger
on the basement wall
at foster home
Opens Black bosom to me

“I’ll take her... I’ll take your Little Girl”
No howl escapes
My lips
The fire of
Your red hair burns my eyes
As you slip into a sea
Of people and traffic
and your
Battle dress jacket
Slips into loud
Stares of onlookers

The train howls our pain
Saturday mornings
I loved
The loving
To see you
Mother

Cried dry tears
When you did not show
Pushed my bed
Back to the window....

My sister and I played
Indian Chief

Till Pain was
Only
A Game...

and I
could be a child again

Jessica Holter

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