Why I Wanted To Be A Mother

for my brother, D D

To be a wishing well
To throw dreams in a pot
To make dumpling soup

To sit in a wooden rocking chair
To kiss my son’s forehead
To watch him fall asleep (grinning toothless
as if grinning was his way of scolding the world)

To wince at his curl of great lashes
To call forth for him out of the dark -
the bold shimmer in each street light going on and off

To boil cerasee and sage
To wash cuts and bruises
To watch the body heal in days

To touch a chest and watch it heave
Then grow into lungs made for mountains
To bring about laughter out of the cave’s mouth

To walk on the path back to Acklins
To pass the hills of goats and sheep
To find a brave reflection at the water’s edge

To pour honey down a vase
To watch yellow elders sprout
To sing to every living thing until they no longer grey.


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Ernestia Frazier is currently an artist-in-residence at the Writer’s Institute of Diversity in Los Angeles, CA, working on various writing projects, including a collection of poems entitled Shallow Water. Her poems have been published in print and online publications, including The Caribbean Writer and tongues of the ocean.

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