Rose B. Simpson
My computer charger is plugged into an extension cord
So that I can be that much closer
To my sleeping baby and still work. That’s how it is.
My sleeping indigenous daughter.
There is no one else here
To protect her.
I’m no poet.
Still, like you,
I dream in metaphor—
I in the passenger seat
Hottie at the wheel
Road winding tighter
Hugging the corner between cliff
and chasm eroding the yellow line
He/she let go so I leapt to pilot
Last minute as we almost succumbed to the cave—
I could see in that murky depth
A red glossy monument of two people getting it on.
At our destiny
We parked and walked separate ways.
I awoke somehow proud—
I must be growing.
As she kicked inside my belly I whispered a prayer so she would be unsightly to people sexualized by Western Media because she is a 2.5 times statistic indigenous female in North America.
I birthed her at home in candlelight and cedar smoke.
She revealed herself and I cried and I cried for she is that sorta beautiful the grossest of us might exotify and sexualize.
There should be no reason
To cry for beauty.
So I roll her toes one by one at night,
Remind her I am here.
I’m lonely to illustrate boundaries
And battle familiar self-hating traps
Because it’s pathetic and I’m a QUEEN and that’s not how a GODESS acts.
Pathetic is shame.
I go so far to keep her from hurt—
And I go so far to pray
It won’t be me.
At an art opening
She was so cute
Two rich (need I say white) women
Offered to buy her.
My choked silent shock revealed my post-colonial-stress-disorder.
And in my privilege and fear I figure—
At least I’m not
The mother to
A black male born in America.
I can’t know that ache. That fear.
My daughter’s Grandma did.
So she will carry that and beauty too.
I reflect in the parts of me that are you. The fraying braid, the skirt, your hands in the dirt. The way you pull the broom bristles across the porch as if they weigh the milk-breath sighs of ten thousand lost babies.
And you still feed.
And you hold my head in your bosom as I weep.
And you watch something out the window with still lips and heavy eyes because I still breathe and as long as I breathe your spine is that broom.
And you sweep.
And I sweep.