Perhaps if mother
Hadn’t tried to suckle my breasts
I’d have enough for you
To lay your weary heads on
I’d maybe hold you tight.
So, the softness of my chests
Can soothe your hardness
But I can only apologize for
The wrongs I did.
She didn’t suckle her mother’s
And of what use is a daughter that isn’t a mother to her mother?
Perhaps if I had grown up
In between mother’s laps as
She fought with my stubborn hair
And turned my head into a gear
I’d have held your head too
Tucked you in between my warmness
And loved you too
But all I remember is asking
Mama, what style should I plait for you today?
Perhaps if my back, hadn’t known the sun so much
With my chest damn near touching the ground
In my quest to find stumps and sometimes logs and sometimes seeds for daily meal
If my body, child, isn’t this sickle shaped thing
I would have picked you up
And rocked you while you cried for milk?
Or was it bread?
Perhaps I should sing you a lullaby
But I’m sorry my coarse voice
Matches the screams in your nightmares
Forgive me again child.
The sounds I slept to
Was of mother’s tears and curses and screams
And of father’s pants and the swish of
Leather belt in mid air and the plat of it kissing skin.
Beautiful music, don’t you agree?
I would have loved you
I would have, I swear.
Perhaps if there was a heart beating
In this chest.
Perhaps if I had had silence for lullabies
Perhaps if my head had been twisted right or left, just so the patewo style can be plaited
Perhaps If I had suckled mother’s breast.
But let’s forgive mother.
Because she is Gold.