Sunday, March 2, 2014

"MOTHER" | Spoken Word | Week 6 of 52 Weeks of Aadil's Poetry


They told me I’d find heaven under your aching feet.
They told me that’s where heaven is.
So, I went searching your sole.

I started at your toes,
Those on which you’d so cautiously tiptoe your way from my crib—
Your silent consideration. Your loud love.

And I made my way to the crevices and wrinkles of your feet
Lines with more depth than the Pacific
Lines that told stories of infinite grace, infinite love.

And how those lines curved – Drawn by the ink of the divine.

Lines that left their prints in places I longed to know.
Places so foreign. Struggles so severe.

I longed to follow those lines wherever they led me.
I’d follow them to the day they stepped on that airplane set to fly to the United States
Leaving behind a homeland
Leaving behind memories
Leaving behind kin

I’d follow those brave lines
I’d follow them until they took me to the first time they touched this Earth.

I followed them to your heel.
And that’s when I saw it, mother.

I saw you standing firm
Bearing the weight of a child
Knowing well what it meant.
Knowing well there was no scale
Large enough
Heavy enough
True enough
Real enough
To measure the weight of motherhood.

I’d keep my door open at night
Mother, I still keep my door open at night
Just to hear your footsteps
Singing across the hall
To see if your son has slept.

To see how your son grew up from that child
Whose tears woke you up
Whose small body you cradled with love
Whose body you placed in that crib
Whose eyelids you’d stare at until the moment they met
Whose tears you’d wipe away.

Remember when those girls called me names, mother
They chased me as heroes do criminals
As predators do prey, mother
I ran with shoelaces untied on concrete thick
Those girls called me names
Names that escaped that kindergarten playground
Names that followed me all my life

Those girls chased me
Those girls called me names
And I had cuts and bruises on my slim arms and legs to prove it, mother.

Those girls called me names
And I prayed for them mother
I prayed that they’d grow to be women like you.

Carrying the weight of a child
Mother, you carried me home that day
Mother, you carried my bruised 40 pound body for that entire mile.
You carried me for nine months, mother.
You carried my twin who could not, did not survive.
You carried me through pain, despite the risk of that pregnancy.
You carried me and gave birth to me despite the risk of me not even being born alive.

You carried me day in and day out.
You carried me despite my weight,
Despite what weighed on your shoulders.

I know that arthritis is not just pain.
I know that cancer is not just a diagnosis.

I pray for the hour those feet find rest.

I see those stories in those thick lines
Those turned toes
That firm heel.

I see those stories, mother.

They told me I’d find heaven under your aching feet.
They told me that’s where heaven is.

And they were right.
I see heaven.

For heaven exists under the blessed feet on which you stood
To raise your children
Wipe our dripping tears
Forgive us for our shortcomings
And applaud us for our best.

Mother, Heaven is under your aching feet.
Heaven’s hills and plateaus
Seas and oceans
Beautiful bounties
Are in those lines, toes and heel.

And I am forever in your loving service
For heaven is where I long to be.


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