It takes a village.
But not if you are a black woman.
For a black woman it takes yourself.
Your back to lean on, your shoulders to stand on.
This womanhood ring we were all born into came with secrets we were never ready to absorb.
Our mothers womb thrust us from her warm insides into the cold.
With the sounds of our fresh cries echoing out to her.
Cries she could not nurse and she could not silence.
So we soothed ourselves.
Learned to rock our own bodies.
Wrap our tiny legs into swaddled cloth.
We came into this world from someone else but crawled around it on our own.
Always searching her voice quiet or raised the way mothers have it in the supermarket.
For her eyes oozing love over us like warm honey or a side gaze warning us that her wooden spoon was waiting for our bums.
We searched for her,
Under the bed, under the couch, in the back room but never found her.
So we clung to the rare memories we had.
Put them in a tupperware container and tucked them safely away so they would stay fresh.
If a black woman’s life in the world is a burden, it is no different when she becomes a mother.
We saw our own mother yearning, journeying for love.
Seeking for it in homes that were never her own.
We saw our mother empty, and her children unavailable to fill this void.
We saw our mother, look at her own mother in the same way.
Always wondering why love could never be found at home but in mens beds and at the bottom of brown cheap bottles.
We were all hungry children.
Not just because of:
The Civil War,
The Caspers on our streets.
Our hunger was generational because love is too expensive in a world where even our breath is a commodity.