01 Jan 2019

I see you, Mama.
An ocean of people rushing past
you stand at the bottom
of the grey subway stairs
double-stroller in arms
figuring your
I see you
at the library
at the free music classes
at the grocery store
on the bus
pointing out dandelions
and pine trees
explaining that it’s not
all right to throw trash
in the street
Your sleep, broken
your spirit held together
by ancestors you will never
be able to name.
There is no nanny
no babysitter
no family standing at the ready
so that you can breathe
And sometimes
the river in you rises
you bite back curses
blink away tears
the child screams fire,
water of you starts to simmer and rise
then you find your breath
you lower your voice
you lower your hand
remembering that you want
to do this differently
Traveling an hour
for the girls’ rice milk
and organic berries.
Ice cream trucks blaring
candied kids carousing
teenagers rushing
adults venting
you are swimming against the tide
and the ache in your arms reminds you
you are the natural rhythm of water
the ache in your arms
is the start of muscle
I see you, Mama
in the street
on the bus
at the park
in the mirror
I see you
double-stroller in your arms

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