Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Necessity (2005)


I thought that Mammy
Was a memory
Of a woman I never knew
A great great grandmother
That did something a long time ago out of necessity
But not me
Not me in high heals
And $300.00 suits
And boots
Not me with a degree
And private schooling
Not me, miss I’ve-moved-beyond-just-Black-to-beautiful
And yet
I am beginning to suspect
That Mammy left her place in time and followed me one night
Exchanged her soul with mine
I struggle as I find
I am there to open doors so that
others can walk through them.
Prepare and serve meals
I will never eat
Share thoughts that become the blueprints for empires
And yet I cannot be trusted to lay the foundation
Of my own house
I am first to come, and last to leave
I turn the unthankful
Into something new and clean
And yet when the guest list was created for the blow out party
My invite was lost in the mail

Your underestimation of me should make me laugh, but instead I cry.

I rest on the shoulders of beautiful black women
Who did what men thought was impossible
Who picked up the dirty plate
And washed the linens
Made the plate into knives
Linens into ropes
And ropes into ladders
leading them to escape from inoculated ivory towers
The world watches, amazed
by what a black woman will do
out of necessity

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