most women are superheroes. that’s not an overestimation. in fact when it comes to their children, to their families, most women take extraordinary measures on ordinary days.
death doesn’t play fair and it’s sister, grief, is treacherous as well. they can arrive on the most ordinary day and twist your world in very unordinary ways. my father use to tell me that death is nothing but a circle. and if i were to looked at it i would see it as a continuation not an end. my father was also a poet. he didn’t have any words for grief other than to say, ‘it’s a mutha phucka.’ which is the greatest truth he ever imparted.
in the tenets of sexism there lies one essential lie – women are less than. every time a woman no matter her color, creed, religion, or bank account balance pushes back she is declared even more loudly to be – less than.
life as a social worker can be arduous. there are entire seasons when you feel as if you aren’t taking a single step forward with any project you are working on. it’s life in quicksand and you only have a snake’s head to pull yourself and the people around you out.
i was instantly transported to the time when i was green and innocent and full of vigor and passion about every child having a chance and providing a chance for every child. not much has changed for me on that note since then other than the names of the demons and other things that go bump in the night that i fight.
30 days ago i decided to accept a challenge to write a poem everyday for 31 days. it’s promise i kept mostly because i’m ornery and secondly because it gave me a chance to explore my first love – the written word. here i am at the end of the challenge, grateful for the journey and ready to dive in to where this awakening will lead me next.
i don’t get many moments when my kid will stand still. the great pictures i do get share come at high cost as most moms of boys know. they move full steam ahead no cares about what steam you’re at or even if you have steam. they are ready to go!
i grew up in a gloriously chaotic cacophony of a family. we were huge in number and loud in voice. there was an anonymity to being from such a large group and in that a protection that i now crave as an adult. i use to want peace and quiet when i was a kid, never feeling like i could hear myself think because of all the people. my one true wish each birthday was for quiet. and now that i have silence surrounding me i can honestly say, i can’t stand the noise.
i took my son to a halloween party. i was so taken by the blatant joy of all the little boys in attendance i nearly fell in my chair. i wanted to lock them up in that moment when it seemed nothing could touch them…not even disappointment.
i’ve never been very good at staying quiet. even when i promise my mother and other loved ones that i won’t say anything, it never fails, i say something. i wonder what it would be like to be the person who stays silent, keeps their head down, and holds their thoughts and ideas to themselves. especially in the face of gross neglect, abuse, and inequality i wonder how can they possibly see all this and think ‘it’s not my problem.’
grief is a gift. there are hours, days, weeks, months when you mistakenly imagine you’ve moved on. that your sadness is dissolved. your loss resolved. your grief complete. and then from nowhere you’ll read a seemingly innocent post from a friend on facebook and it transports you right back in time to another space where your loss is more real, more tangible, than it was only a moment before. the days those moments don’t feel like sucker punches to the throat are the best days.
it’s stunning how one moment you’re falling to your knees as the radio or television informs you there has been a mass shooting. i don’t know how many prayer vigils we’ve had at this point. how many times we’ve said this is too much. how many times we’ve packaged cards and well wishes and facebook profiles sending condolences to families and communities and cities.