The women I love

SAM_0386
Kaima, photo taken by my mother. 2010?

Listen

She sings jingju on the radio, hangs hand washed laundry on wires by the sun,

laolao the teacher, laolao the selfless, anxious for mouths fed from birth till her back aches from tenderness

ma’ma the healer, studying by candlelight in a war,

catching blood on her sleeve from patients fresh from the battleground

earth shakes with shells from the sky but she stands in the artificial light of the operating room, eyes heavy with sleep

mama, my mama who had dreams beyond the borders of her jiaxiang

carried diasporic son and daughter from pacific to atlantic

Sacrificed her own flesh and blood to lady liberty, who half-smiles in concrete

mama, my mama who once dreamt of poets and canons who does not have a place for those dreams now

These are the women whose songs I carry

from sunrise to sundown I cradle my laolao‘s spine, my ma’ma‘s hands, mama’s dreams ocean to ocean I thank the labor that created me, that shaped me, who I owe my birth

These are the women I love 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s