My Inheritance

Faces

     Blacked out with a Sharpie

Heads

     Cut out of photos

Entire albums shredded

     For the sake of eliminating one

Faces and heads shriveled as they

     Danced in the flames

Phone numbers deleted

     In case of a misdial

Fingers re-programmed

     Lest they dial those memorized digits

“Stinker” letters written

     That might one day cause regret

Words uttered that cause pain on purpose

    Lashing out, a favorite pastime

Wordsmiths with sharp tongues

    Crafting partial truths

Telling their version of the Story

     To themselves and to those

Who asked about that missing head

     Or that Sharpied-out face

Secrets thrown back in their owners’ faces

    Ammunition in this declared war

Armor built and re-built

    Reinforced with each cut-out head, blacked-out face

Antagonistic attitudes

    Perfected with frequent dramatization

Voices dripping with irritation

    That belies the truth of the REAL anguish

This…this is the fine tradition from which I descend

This…this is the fine lineage from which I descend

The lineage I was raised in

That which I inherited

That which was passed on to me

****

Whenever people would “cross” her

    A jitteriness that she was not prone to

“Mi Kweku!” Grandmother would say

     Proudly pounding her chest

“M3 y3 hon adze!”

     Flushed mulatto face

Promising a revenge like none before

    Limbs shaking feverishly

Declaring the inevitable

     A war

A moratorium on love

     Any she previously had for this person

Poof and it would disappear

     To somewhere deep inside where her pride stood guard

The pride that rode in on the anger

     Begot from shame

     Begot from reprimand (or calling out)

From a person less than

     Younger than

From someone according to her

     Her unequal

Erased the entire history of a relationship

     Once abloom

A “Mi Kweku!” meant death

     This unfortunate head, face, better hide

Grudge that defied imagination

    Say, not speaking to an only sister

Silent treatments

    Leaving them guessing the next move

Buckets of tears

     Unleashing the victim narrative

Repetition created a believable narrative

     Demons arose from former loves

Meant a lifetime of “stuff”

    Passed on for generations to come

This…this is the fine lineage from which I descend

The lineage I was raised in

That which I inherited

That which was passed on to me

*****

Tonight, I beg not forgiveness for my auto pilot but rather a consideration that such a situation is possible

That one could live all of an adult life this way

Knowing Im on auto pilot is half the battle but

Someone else knowing Im on autopilot, calling me out on it

And me not pounding my chest and walking away is

The rest of the battle

Left to be fought

Tonight I beg not for a do-over, but just for a consideration


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2 comments

  1. Mi Kweku! Lol. I remember that. Man, no matter how much I think I’ve evolved I realize that I’m no where near where I want to be. But, I’m not going around saying “Mi Kweku” either! Lol
    Yay progress 🙂

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