On Mother’s Day

Note: The line “No Black boys die on Mother’s Day” is taken from the poem of the same name from the book A PECULIAR PEOPLE by Steven Willis.

On the Internet,

there’s always

a thread going

that wishes mothers

happy Mother’s Day.

the one day

of the year

that the women

who are charged with

running the world are

supposed to put their feet up–

and yet the feet are up

and at’em

making sure kids

faces are washed

Breakfast is made

and coffee may be

sipped cold–

if at all.

on Mother’s Day,

we celebrate the

mothers of queer children

Disgarded and forgotten

By family of their births

the mothers who

are aunties by blood,

mothers who do

the job of mothering

when no one else would

whether it be in classrooms,

boardrooms, or in laundromats.

mother is both

noun and verb–

and because it is both-

–a thing and an action–

it is constantly needed

I know there was a poet

that one time that said

“no Black boys die on Mother’s Day”

because life is present

wherever a mother may be

Or lay their heads.

Happy Mother’s Day

to the women who

decided to mother,

even when they did

not know how

happy Mother’s Day

to the women who

stand in the gap,

and fill the gap,

and know how

to slap

away all things

by which attack the

children that are

in their charge.

Because trust and believe

no village is complete without a mother…

It is the women of your blood

that have gotten you this far.

It is the women of

your understanding

and of your ancestral forgetting

who have gotten you

to a place

by which you,too,

can step into the realm

known as mother.

Whether your womanhood be new

Forming, learned or Ancient,

because we know the ancient of days is also an us…

Happy Mother’s Day

is the whisper of breezes

through open windows

on summer nights

is why we fight

it is how we rage

against the dying

of the light…

go on mother we see you.

-JBHarris, 5.14.23