Your mother was an old, vibrant soul.
Naomi Nothando Dube? Wasn’t that her name?
A daughter of the soil,
she birthed you out of auras and Afrika,
beauty and fragility.
Your words recite her truths,
stories of slavery and sub-Saharan romance,
apartheid and rain gods,
Your ebony heritage has never been so sexy to me.
Your lips turn into a smile,
“Mama fed me porridge with one hand,
and wrote feminism in my heart with the other,
she made me carry buckets full of water,
and washed my body with small stones and scripture,”
I smile and whisper,
“Your ebony heritage has never been so sexy to me,”
Your eyes run away from mine,
“Mama beat me with a stick like the other boys,
she made me cook sadza and okra every night,
we all ate in one plate,”
I wipe the tears of your face,
“Still, your ebony heritage has never been so sexy to me,”
“Mama never let me outside,
all the girls got drunk and had fun,
I was as sober as a tea cup,
and dull as the tea bag,”
I laugh and say,
“Very funny, Gugu, but your ebony heritage is still sexy to me,”
You take off your shirt and turn your body from mine,
I see the marks on your back,
the scars under your arms,
You start to cry,
“Mama was an old vibrant soul,
a daughter of the soil,
but she never warned me of men that could steal my innocence.”
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