A Tribute to Donna Lykes: My Mother, My Friend (RIP).
I cry because teardrops weigh too much
to stay dormant for long periods of time,
and because pain and heartaches are
just God’s way of letting us know that love
is the source of life,
and even though life is bordered by capacities of time,
love is eternal, eternally extended in the realms of forever,
because love doesn’t need to cry.
Love already knows the reason for existence;
explanations to “know-nots”,
and why parts of my existence are lost,
because increments of my heart went away with my mothers.
And I’m happy about it,
because crying is the way I know that galaxies are rotating backwards
at the very thought of her smile,
universal shifts occurring every time I reminiscence
about the prevalent intersectional power of her happiness.
And she was almost always happy.
And I cry because sometimes crying can be happy,
happy like my four-year-old nephew dressed in his Spiderman costume,
because if he ever asks me “where’s Grammy?”,
I can tell him that she’s flying with the angels right now,
that Grammy no longer has go to dialysis three times a week,
that Grammy went to a place where grief and sorrow have no home.
So Lil James, be happy for Grammy, because right now, she is happy.
And I want grief to have no place in our homes,
because she was not a women that believed
being sad for too long was necessary,
not necessarily needed for healing.
Because I am healed every time I think of the half century
she had to grace the world with her presence,
and when she read the bible every morning,
she believed she was saved by the grace of heaven.
So we have no digressions,
her life isn’t something that’s contained
in a subject that’s deviated from,
through our memories she is immortal,
death is only a barrier for those who don’t have imaginations,
and dreams, and recollections of times when she was present,
because right now, she is present,
filling empty souls with a joy that isn’t silent,
Because her memoir is louder than the hundreds of tears
that have smacked against the surfaces of naked concrete pavements.
Stronger than my water filled eyes could hold while writing this poem,
she was strong,
willing to sacrifice her very being
for the love of her children— strong,
black woman childbearing— strong,
beyond physical feasibility— strong,
and I want my nephew to always remember
she was stronger than all the mighty morphing power rangers put together—strong.
And the knots in my throat could never take away
enough air to stop the declaration of the breath she placed in me— mom
…three things I never got to tell you.
I’m sorry for not calling you every morning to say I love you,
for not being there to cradle you on your trip heaven,
for crying, when you said not to
I want to thank you, for accepting me just as I am,
for becoming the backbone to a body
that many have only fathomed being built,
for always being there
you are beautiful,
and your gorgeous life is an example of the legacy
that my siblings and me will continue,
I love you.
I miss you.
and I’m happy about it.