Poem 197 ± December 18, 2015

Vita E
Words from my Mother

I sat down with my mother the other day, and noticed her tears falling down the cheeks for the concrete.

I said, “Mother, why are you crying?”

She said to me:
“Child, I am in pain.
My core is shattered by the screams of police sirens and gunshot smoke.
My beautiful children are being sent back to me covered in blood-soaked clothing,
And the tears of their loved ones are not enough to wash away the soot and gunpowder of the next full clip that slices its way into the budding heart of a young flower,
As it’s cut down long before it was ever given a chance to blossom.
My tears are overflowing for our kin, who are pauperized instead of being treated like royalty.
Their lives are being treated as a spoil of the war on their existence….my heart hurts child.”

I say, “Mother, what can I do? How can I help change things?”
She said:
“You must tell your story child; you must seek out those who wish to do the same.
Seek out the soldiers who defy defeat, simply by defying death.
Seek out the storytellers whose mouths have yet to be muted and amplify their energy into a crown of amethyst.
Give the fallen a chance to speak through you,
Before their memories are possessed by those who would seek to celebrate their deaths by devaluing their lives
Beware those who request your spirit in exchange for tangible gains
Know you owe them nothing for your existence,
No apologies or debts necessary for your purpose or pulse in this planet,
They forget that this home is meant for everyone, and so they attempt to claim your spirit as one would a possession.
But you my child, and all of my children, are so much more than what they wish to hold in their hands.”

I said, “but Mother, why do you feel WE can make it?”

She said to me, through a sea of tears that could transform puddles into lakes:

“My children, look behind you.
Your shoulders have carried the souls and aspirations of others for centuries, and the scars are there as proof.
Your minds created exit strategies in the stars and escape routes through melodies, lyrical liberations, and harmonic hope.
Your feet have marched through fields, to concrete roads, to the hot streets of the cities, all in the name of your freedom.
Your hands have given to those who would just as soon take a finger more after they could take no more fruit from your branches.
And yet, you still hold the hands of your brethren and make a bond that no mortal can break.

If you look beside you, you will see that in the present, you are blossoming, as are your siblings, and they cannot cut you down this time,
For you have evolved into a movement that is bulletproof,
And those strong feet, those giving hands, and those strong shoulders will pave the way to the future,
One where your souls contain no shackles, and your minds have no chains.
A future, where your mother can once again, smile.”

VITA_EVita E is the founder of TWOC Poetry, a brand/YouTube channel she created to increase media representation and knowledge for marginalized groups, focusing primarily on experiences as a trans woman of color. Her series, Tea (T)ime, touches on subjects from racism to respectability politics, and everything between and outside. Vita E has performed at Campus Pride in North Carolina, competed as a finalist in the Capturing Fire Queer Poetry Slam in Washington, DC, and worked with Black Lives Matter in the Midwest. She has recently formed a duo with J Mase III, known as #BlackTransMagick, which is scheduled for multiple performances in 2016. When she is not performing, she spends much of her time as the Social Media/Communications Coordinator for awQward the first talent agency to specifically uplift the work of trans and queer artists of color.

This poem is not previously published.