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Ghetto Girl Blue


Oakland, CA, US

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Jane Therese


Ghetto Girl Blue

My mother was a white woman
But a woman, all the same
For years I never thought much
Of white women
In fact, I didn’t think of them much
In my mind’s eye she was nothing
A dusty trophy piece
Never savoring the
Bitter flavorings of grief
Placed on a Victorian mantle
Atop a fireplace seldom used
Silently worshipped
From Big House - To old slave shack
Never knowing abuse
The suffering of blacks
And so went my Negro Creed
Anything unpained has got no need
To be freed
My mother was a white woman
But a woman, all the same
When I was a little black girl
Ghetto Orthodox
Pumping through my veins
She would wait
Gift in hand and smile stretching
Across the milky skin of her face
As animated as my unease
The fear of kids seeing us
Invaded my senses leaving no place
For love, a touch, a kiss,
A mother-daughter’s embrace
On this her once a week visiting day
Would have confirmed the truth
... of the Devil in my blood
But to her I was nothing less
Than her sweet black baby girl
The jewel of her emerald eye
A manifested promise of a time
Passion was as sweet
As the wine she drank
To numb her...
Old history when my missing father
So tall, so fine, so rich in soul, so black
Kissed her gently and
Darlingly loved her back
My mother was a white woman
But a woman, all the same
I hardly cared or noticed
The men who steadily came
To beat her down and kill her slowly
To ease their wretched shame
Too weak to fight, to ashamed to let me stay
She packed up her black baby
And sent me safely away
I never saw the pedestal, you see
Crumble beneath her callused feet
Never heard the taboo drums
Resounding through the hopeless song
She played for each black man she’d meet
Buffalo soldier; I am the land of America
Rest your weary feet
They answered her call
One after the next
Each bigger, blacker, angrier
Than the one before
They spoke in an ancient tongue
She tried to interpret with her body
Giving her very best
But still they needed more
Pain grown bitter with time
Spilled like the wine she drank
To numb her
In a flurry of fists until there was nothing left
My mother was a white woman
But a woman all the same
How the pain does grow
When death is slow
The sunlight’s glow simmering
Her uncloaked body’s vapors
Crimson trailing like the dead
End roads she had taken
From all her open places
Maimed, Three days
And unclaimed
Now that I’m ready
To love her
Accept her, and proudly
Wear her name
Where is my Momma?
Where is Jane Therese?
Dead, standing
In an unmarked grave