easy. breezy. beautiful cornered gurl AKA all up in my bones
He useta call me baby, that was his way
Until he had to leave. I was 12.
12-years-old, wondering what I did wrong.
No one could tell me.
Wasn’t old enough to be in the middle
Of grown folks’ speak
And, as a Southerner,
to your elders.
You heed their advice.
So, I thought
my light had faded
Cuz if Daddy wasn’t calling me baby no more,
Who else would?
My Mom was piecing together our puzzled lives.
We were the church feature;
the company billboard for broken homes.
They wanted me to tell the boys,
To let my brothers know our family had collapsed.
But, how could I?
I was still trying to figure out who was gonna call me baby.
I was still trying to find the reason
why he had to leave.
"Mom, what did I do?"
In the funk of a lead-ridden home, my words were useless.
They did not exist.
But, I did.
I still lived amongst the shadows of decrees and halves;
"You’ll get them on this weekend,
I’ll get them on this weekend,"
And, so on
We were split in two.
Halves of a whole.
Soon to be halves of a half.
19 years later, another girl was born.
You know her well...
She’s 16, now. You’ve had more years with her.
You don’t forget her age.
She doesn’t have to remind you.
It’s better this way. She gives you purpose.
She doesn’t question
why you left
cuz she doesn’t have to.
That’s why we’re still holding on,
That’s why I’m still holding on
the moment you’ll once again call me baby.
Special thanks to Savanna D'Amato for knowing which buttons to push.