I’ve loved you since before you were born
When I saw your face pressed
Like a violet captured
In an ultrasound I no longer have
But cherish as a vivid revered memory
As in fairy tales of old
Many lies were told
And you were stolen and kept far from your home,
from my active loving heart.
And I wept.
I’ve loved you since the papers crumpled
Unused, only to be recycled,
When the death of hope is heard
In the confetti shaped heart
That is irreparable, devoid of cohesion
Bleeding the tears of mourning
That burn with the lies told
The familial curse stood as firmly as a parapet.
And still I wept.
I’ve loved you since I witnessed your slavery
Removed with greed, falsehoods,
Shifting legends of half-truths expressed
Under the guise of protection
Under the threat of theft called the improper noun
Rebuked with abandonment
Suffered the neglect of compassion
A soul reviled, refused encouragement
Violated in every way possible.
I still wept.
I’ve loved you since before I strapped on my armor
To storm the cotton fields wrought with personal terror
With machete drawn high in the air,
Shackles of truth for the liars to wear
Jangling on my hip with keys nowhere to be found.
The hovel proclaimed as his kingdom rotted
From the inside out with starving zombies
Clawing at the doors and windows trying to escape
I saw your fetal position and spirited you away
And we wept.
I’ve loved you since I became your Harriet Tubman,
Your underground railroad to freedom
I sheltered you in loving arms with my heart repaired
Embracing the Old to reject the new wave
At the same time embracing the New and rejecting the old
Hearing your pain mocked, examining trauma
After trauma after trauma after trauma after trauma
And feeling the rebuke of your fears whipped at me
The refusal of your champion for lack of worth
The loss of faith in hope and healing
And I weep.
I loved who I became because of your life
My superhero cape dancing in the wind
As I advocated for the better world that you deserve
As I championed a life with choices once denied you
As I believed in your potential, indulgent of possibilities
Lifting your chin so your eyes could see success
Found with the wings of encouragement
With every required tool available
At the beckoning of your unwilling fingers,
Your imprisoned mind,
Your blinded foresight,
Your despised, abused, and hated body.
You have removed my necessity, discarded my gifts
Refused your glory for the sake of self-loathing
And I weep, but always I will love you.