I wanted to write you a letter
but those typically begin with ‘dear’ before addressing you
and even though the word is to the brim
with respect, cherish, affection and maybe honour
it felt insufficient. You exceed sufficient.
Then, I thought I’d prepare my dictionary and thesaurus
and read the back of every weighty novel
I could find in the house just so I could present
the intelligence that is you with something worthy.
Something deserving. Something appropriate enough for you.
And I decided that I didn’t need all that
because I’ve learnt enough underneath you,
watching you from a distance surrounded by silence
and awe of a woman who has only sat down
after 4 decades of vigilance
as though queens do not need to rest their feet.
Then God-fearing, sing praises, shelter your children
from the ugly of the earth -
I wonder which heaven you were written in,
spoken in and manifested in because Dear God,
we have been radiated.
Sometimes I sit and cry and write
and believe in the pit of my entirety
that I have experienced many a hurting and then,
on a day like today, I look across the room
and find you still standing.
And every heartbreak
(and you must be wondering how irresponsible I could possibly be)
every heartbreak is a grain, a speck, almost invisible
compared to the feeling of witnessing the rain from your eyes.
Mama, your skies are unworthy of storms.
And I promise, I swear with all the life left inside of me
I will dedicate the remainder of my days
to seeing your smile, hearing your laugh
and I will not rest without these achievements.
I will sing praises of you to strangers
and friends and family and anyone else
unwilling to listen
until they hear the quality of your song.