Tag Archives: poem

Poetry: Assata Shakur – To My Momma

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted .. I have many drafts but I haven’t made time to edit and post. Anyways, I’ve been reading the autobiography of Assata Shakur and I am amazed and inspired. I haven’t gotten that far but my friend bookmarked a poem for me. It is called To My Momma and I relate to it heavily.

To my momma,
who has swalled the amerikan dream
and choked on it.

To my momma,
whose dreams have fought each other —
and died.

Who sees,
but cannot bear to see.
A volcano eating its own lava.

To my momma, who couldn’t turn
hell into paradise
and blamed herself.
Who has always seen reflected in her mirror
an ugly duckling.

To my momma,
who makes no demands of anyone
cause she don’t think she can afford to.
Who thinks her money talks
louder than her womanhood.

To my butchfem momma,
who has always
taken care of business.
Who has never drifted
hazily to sleep
thinking, “he will take care of it.”
Who has schemed so much
she sometimes schemes against herself.

To my sweet, shy momma.
Who is uneasy with people
cause she don’t know how
to be phony,
and is afraid to be real.

Who has longed for sculptured gardens.
Whose potted plant
dies slowly on the window sill.

We have all been infected
with a sickness
that can be traced back
to the auction block.

You must not feel guilty
for what has been done to us.
Only the strong go crazy.
The weak just go along.

And what i thought was cruelty,
I understand was fear
that hands, stronger than yours,
and whiter than yours,
would strangle my young life
into oblivion.

Momma, i am proud of you.
I look at you
and see the strength of our people.
I have seen you struggle
in the dark;
the world beating on your back,
dragging your catch
back to our den.
Pulling your pots and pans out
to cook it.
A mob in one hand.
A pencil in the other,
marking up my homework
with your love.

The injured have no blame.
Let it fall on those who injure.

Leave the past behind
where it belongs–
and come with me
toward tomorrow.

I love you mommy
cause you are beautiful
and i am life that springs from you:
part tree, part weed, part flower.

My roots run deep.
I have been nourished well.