And I want to wrap my wounds with words
But I must return to the battlefield
I must slay Daddy's dragons.
Check for monsters under his bed.
Tuck him in and whisper,
"Please don't hurt yourself."
I should pray for him, for them
But I forgot how
To whisper the words "Dear Heavenly Father"
And mean it.
For God so love the world She gave all Her begotten daughters.
"De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see"
To wash away their sins.
To make him whole again.
Monday to Friday
Friday to Sunday
We conjure his 40 acres from handfuls of dust
Grow gardens from a ground of red clay
Peel our skin and burn our bones for dinner
Rise from the ashes to begin again
My body aches
This bridge called my back grows unsteady
If the world belongs to him
Why is it strapped to my shoulders?
You invite me to sit down
And have a drink of LEMONADE
I take one sip and remember I am great.
I take another and remember I am big.
I contain multitudes
And such declarations are not reserved for white men with white beards.
You remind me that I am the moon
Blamed for floods
Yet the one they turn to
To light the night
You show me how to turn my scars into beauty marks.
You replace my crown of thorns with a flower for my hair.
I confess to you that I believe my family is cursed.
And you teach me how to make LEMONADE of my own:
Take one pint of water
Add a half pound of sugar
The juice of 8 lemons
The zest of half lemon.
Pour the water from one jug then into another several times.
Strain through a clean napkin.
I say I am an orphan
I say I am all alone
I say I have no daughters
You show me my legacy in 1,000 girls raising their arms.
And you whisper "She-Wolf, we are pack."
You remind me that God is God and I am not
But if I love myself
I will love God Herself.
You make the woman in doubt disappear.
I put down my empty glass and stand from the swing on your front porch.
I leave to go write a new song.
In my father's house are many mansions.
If it were not so I would tell you.
I know it is so
Because I built them with my bare hands.