Written after my ex-husband’s wife threatened to call the police on my daughter for screaming at her brother, making a bad joke, and her stepmother of a decade became Carolyn Bryant.
To the White woman who tried to call the police on my child—
The prophets tell us that there is nothing new under the sun, and because there is nothing new under the sun, It is of great and grave expectation that Black woman are never dumb.
But you like me who hold life on the inside of you, yet you pull death from your mouth, aiming at a child who is defenseless in this world, whose only recourse is to Call the only name she knows other than God—
And her roar be but whisper to you and hurricane wind to me and I will sprout up as wings as eagles as Isaiah spoke about to see where the tears have come from.
hiding her behind me I stand in front of her and death daily —
You do not scare me.
I push death back into your mouth that you may breed and birth it as you and all your kin have known to do for centuries. you will not devour mine.
She knows who she is to whom she belongs and she knows that she is part Of Maya’s 10,000. Plus 1.
She has my blood in her Divine Father on the inside of her and how dare you try and stifle life in her that has already begun!
Because when Black women cry, even in girlhood, they summons the 10,000 who will protect her arm her show her the faces of enemy from a long way off.
These ancestors which she will take with her always, and as the prophet said, there is nothing new under the sun In life and death is in the power of the tongue in those who choose we eat the fruit of it.
Your fruit is chosen— curse is already on your line.
I was forced to think about things I was scared to, while making room for myself. I think the presumption is poets will have this never-empty, never-ending reservoir to soothe or settle those that read our thoughts.
I’m always humbled for it by anyone who reads my work or is inspired by it. Sometimes the wells we pull from for others, are dug by our own hands–watered by own tears!
Yet, we write.
We serve. Make no mistake: a poet is a servant. Perhaps this is why Baldwin said it is a horrible tragedy when a nation ceases to produce poets.
The poet remembers what everyone else forgets—and gives light when all is lost. On this, perhaps, hangs humanity.