a letter to my birthmother

it’s march 18th now, and every year that this day comes around 

i wonder if you’re thinking of me because i’m thinking of you

and i’m thinking of you thinking about me. you are a queen  —

west side chicago high rise, you are the heiress of rockwell gardens

breathing life into a breathless place. searching for love on a war ground

scarred with bullet holes & the lives of young, lost soldiers.

by the age of 19,  you had to learn how to carry three more lives

up on your shoulders — motherhood — but nobody ever taught you how to love yourself. 

confiding in men who shed your clothes off as is if they were your insecurities. 

by age 19, you had been betrayed by three fatherless fathers

who failed to remind you of your worth,

made you feel as if your brown sugar coated skin was dirt 

but what is life without the blossoming flowers

that seem to add a little fresh air to an intoxicated existence?

your persistence is admirable, your beauty is desirable, and i thank you

for being strong enough for the both of us. you are black woman  —

permanent back lashes that your infants trace over like masterpieces, 

you are the canvas for life’s struggles.  

a broken and beaten down tower consumed with crack rock, gang violence on the block 

your aura spilled out a gorgeousness so powerful

that it even made the projects look like a picasso.

birthmother, i know your worth.

and at the end of the day i could never say that i’m everything you couldn’t be 

but everything that you are. every breath i breathe is into you.

you had the strength to take a piece of your own life out of a lifeless place,

you are the creator of my faith, the outline of my strength, and

the ignited inner core that never fails to remind me of what could’ve been 

should’ve been, but was not

and for you i will beat the odds for the both of us 

one to none.  


         your daughter