Mama in the morning

Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem.

Assalam alaikum wr wb, and Jummah Mubarak!!!

I’ve been working on this poem a while. ‘Tis a deep wound.

Here goes nothing.

Mama in the morning

Mama in the morning
Slams doors and creaks windows like
An orchestra of poltergeists
Mama in the morning
Storms up corridors and screams through walls
wondering when we will hear her.
Mama in the morning
yearns to be found
for God to see her though she cannot see Him.
Mama in the morning
Hates me
And wants me
A burden of flesh so deeply rooted
A part of me still remains in her womb.

I am sorry Mama
that I didn’t listen that morning
And many mornings after that.

But sorry doesn’t quite cut it.

In all the years that have passed between us
why why why
Is the pain and fear like an unquenchable thirst.
Why why why
in all the years that have passed between us
has it not dissipated
but instead like ghosts wait to gather
form from our flesh
Even now
Even here
Even in our present day.

And yes, Mama, it is our present day.
We’re not down and we’re not out.
We never have been.
Even though these walls are high,
By gum we can break them down
you and I both know
With the strength of our vicious tongues alone.

I am not your daughter.
If that makes you happier.
But I know instead it will make you cry.

Or maybe some small part of you wishes I was never born.
Some small part of me wishes that too
But here I am, one way or another.
For better or for worse
And Death will one day do us part.

But let’s not fear him
Or poverty
Or illness
Fears so old their skins are dust.

Mama I have searched
I promise I have

I have searched in the sleeping eyelids of my big brother
And found
coiled anger and frustration.
Lascivious boy, drinking life like it was the beer of the gods.
I have looked again in the flesh of our newborn child.
I asked her where she kept her magic
Where she hid my weapons and my walls of solitude.
Mama I have wandered deep into the recesses of my own subconscious
Asked questions I dare not answer.
Mama I promise you I have searched
In Star Trek and Inspector Gadget
In the lilting wail of country singers
And the tuneless twanging of modern-day saints
Mama I have searched!

So let me say this now.

The only prayer I’ve ever had is for one quiet morning
Dark not with ignorance but with faith
That the dawn will break
I’m sorry he never came home.
I’m sorry they drank themselves to death
One by one
like dominoes
Falling never to stand again
I’m sorry those matchstick men were your pillars of strength
Let me stay with you even though you are the eye of the storm.
It’s okay to be scared
These aren’t the droids we’re looking for.
It’s fine to be the outsiders
We always have been.
It’s okay to laugh in the mosque
And cry at the movies
It’s okay to eat and sleep and kiss and be merry.
It’s okay to be alive, Mama.
Come live with me
Again.

Wassalam and Fee Amanillah, everyone!

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