Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Helen in Dunbar

Davis, CA 2003

my mama is beautiful
she has a gap between her teeth
that only a son could wear with privilege
to see through
she has a mole that strikes her face with
god and remembrance
to be proud that she really started
from far east and south creek

her hands
are mine like mine and mine
they spell though
from that woman
who was minding her own business
building in a time when blacks and their own
building was unforeseeable--my big

the big beauty though is my mama's frown
between her eyes. it will tell you what you
don't want to hear or know--
that black men can hurt and
it is better if they were just
somewhere working in a garden
or tending to whittling and raking and
making babies like the color violet breeds quietly
or like blue-caramel swells in holy

but while the world gathers to see her slumbers
it has really known and waited to hear how
her frown and tight coils will stride

it can keep gathering though
for she is one of the few that god has blessed
and captured--her soul--a language unknown
to the common man

3 comments:

Basir Seerat said...

wonderfull blog , great work.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

there is a documentary called 'gap tooth women' that was done sometimes in the mid to late 1980s if you can find it do....

as a woman with a gap.... I know your mama is special....

ArtSparker said...

Wonderful photo of a woman who loves the person taking the picture but won't lstand for any b.s. The poetic tribute is a good companion for the photo.