Back in 2005, I was awakened at 5 in the morning by a child’s voice and the following piece was created. There are issues with it, like the narrator’s knowledge base is more mature than the voice but I cannot throw out this darling because it is a piece that rings true for me. This piece is about me, as a mom, and how I felt my child saw me in 2005. It is a personal piece, a vulnerable piece, an honest piece.
I loves my mama, but her don’t love me back. She try, she try real hard. But her can’t. Her can’t give ‘way somethin’ her don’t have. Maybe her mama never show her, maybe her daddy never show her. I tries to, but her all about her men. Since I was smaller, she always had a man. And if her didn’t have no man, her try real hard to show us love. But she can’t. Eventually her just give up and go back to lookin’ for ‘nother man. But I loves her all the same. She my mama.
I like to watch as her get ready to go out. She don’t wear much makeup, but she do use some. On them days, she stand in front of the mirror, real close, and put the black stuff on her eyes and around her lips. Then she put on lipstick. My mama so pretty. I only wish her knew it. But she don’t know. You can tell. Anyway, you know she finna go out ’cause she cut on the music and begin to sing. I love to smell her perfume, it be so sweet. She be smellin’ so good. I got a good smellin’ mama.
Sometimes I like to sit in the kitchen and watch her cook. She ain’t no expert, but she try. Sometimes she might bake some brownies or some cupcakes. Them be the days when she act like she love us. I like those days the best. If her and her man argue, she might even take us to the park. I like them days, not ’cause they be arguing, but ’cause we got to go to the park. We be bored sittin’ in the house all the time. She be in her room, we be in ours. Sometimes we watch TV and she come in and watch with us. But that’s only if her man gone or she don’t have no man.
My mama get real sad sometimes. I don’t know why. I don’t unnerstand yet. But you can tell when she sad. She just lay in bed all day. She don’t cook, don’t clean. But she only be like that sometimes. The house get too messy with us kids runnin’ round not havin’ nothin’ to do. Her sad days be the worst days. Them be the days I know her loves us. She just can’t function on them days.
Mens treat my mama bad sometimes. She don’t know that we know, but we be knowin’. One day she had a black eye, and then one day she left us here and left with a man. Well, he took her. She came back, but her wasn’t the same. That was the worst time. She just lay in bed and lay in bed all day. But she began to take interest in us. She walk us to school, tell us have a good day. But then, him came back. Him came back and her began ignorin’ us again. He be gone soon, I know.
My mama need to know a man don’t make her. And when he leave, she gone be sad, real sad ’cause her love him. Her love him a lot. But we love her, and if her ain’t got enough love for herself, we love her enough for her. I loves my mama. I loves her a lot, but you know what? My mama gotta learn to love her too.