Questions My Daughter Asks Me

questions my daughter asks me:
what makes me you a  woman
why are you "mommy"
and I tell her:
daughter I was born a woman
curves and hips and 
long dark hair that curls 
(all thanks to my abuela que en paz descanse)
and with the power
to create 
carry life inside me
questions my daughter asks me:
why do you make art
why do you write
how do you know how to sing
like a bird?
And I tell her:
I make art to escape the world
I write poems to become a part of the world
and I sing
because I can.
questions my daughter asks me:
she asks me
why is Tio Johnny in the grass
why is your abuela in the grass
and I tell her:
a long time ago, the universe took my brother Johnny 
away from me
my hero
my big brother
the one who smiled and the room lit up
and one day
before I formed a life on my own
my grandmother
my abuela
the only REAL mother I had
she left me
while I sang to her, her favorite pentecostal hymns
while she, surrounded by light
surrounded by her offspring
she breathed her last breath
questions my daughter asks me:
mommy why did I grow in your belly?
why did you push me out?
how was I born?
and I tell her:
you grew in my belly from the greatest love in the world that I had
and I pushed you out
into a room filled with superstitious red candles and
old jazz music
your sister came to me
like a butterfly 
no greater love did I think I had
until she flitted
into my belly 
into my life 
and I pushed her out 
in my home
whilst listening
to Fats Waller
and my children both alive and gone, were birthed 
from the greatest love within me
children are born from love
from the greatest primal source between two people
and they come into the earth
to teach us what it is
to truly love another


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