Poet of the Week: Natasha Ria El-Scari

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The Secret Life of Black Mothers

No indictment no peace
Oh the feeling of when you don’t
even have a poem in your heart.
Just jumbled sounds and letters,
a mother’s scream, glass breaking,
misguided warriors rationalizing
on both sides and the eyes of babies
who watch us bumble around the truth.

With each milestone to manhood, we weep.
Each time you grow an inch, we weep,
an extra whisker course and pronounced, we weep,
the new bass in your resonating voice, we weep,
the muscle in your mind you flex in wit and insight, we weep.

We weep when we hear you’d rather live overseas
than to die right here at home by the hands
of some careless, loveless blue man.

We weep.
We black mothers weep
when we know we have to release
you to the movies with your friends
while reviewing the strategies to avoid harassment
when all you really want to do is hold hands
with the cutie and kiss in the dark
during the action scenes and rolling credits.

In the quick and secret part of us
we black mothers weep
knowing there is no milestone
or achievable end to when we can let go of our fears.
We weep as you dress in your armor of duck feathers,
waxed backs to slide negative media off you
Your momma knows it’s not being nonchalant, it’s fatigue,
I wear it too in my private tears;
exhaustion from the constant exercise
of proving yourself to the careless bullets
of micro aggressive everything.

We weep.
This society of strong women of unshakable faith
who cross their fingers and toes hoping the
right neighborhood
right friends
right school
right clothes
right diction
will somehow make you less of a threat to a fool.
A blue fool, a life-taking fool.
No one is safe around a fool.

We pray inaudible prayers when
we look into your eyes while smacking
with the sweetness of a 15 year old morning kiss.
We even demand that God say something
out loud to scare those monsters away
those who hide in the unknown numbers
that call our phones with the news….

We black mothers
of the Secret Society of Constant Fret
weep for our sons,
we wail at the news of names that could be yours
flashing across the screen like they knew those those babies,
our babies, who wailed with us as they entered to take on this flesh called
black and male and young and dangerous and suspicious and monster!!
We weep for our sons
and mourn for our daughters
who will be mothers
joining on the inhale
our secret lives of breath holding.


Natasha Ria El-Scari’s Poets Tour Profile