ONE POEM – A. Martine

olayinka-babalola-ZsuYINlZPcs-unsplash
Photo by Olayinka Babalola on Unsplash

Fortune Favors

I had just begun looking down that winding road
                        to fathom its edges, serpentine and deceitful
I knew their sorrow for what it was, the women in my family
                        but others would call it ill-temper
Brown girl: you don’t get a plot twist. Your story’s been penned
………………………with strokes as hollow as they are spiteful

Sorrow, stripped of its subtlety, the darker the shade swathing our skins
……………………….a notion too vague to center
My mother’s anguish dismissed as commonplace anger
………………………I squinted at that winding road, saw what it tried to tell me
I knew their sorrow for what it was, the women in my family
………………………but others would call it ill-temper

Brown girls don’t go crazy: colorful props in others’ catastrophes
………………………is all we’ll ever get to be
This complexity you feast on in pages, songs and film
………………………you were never meant to carry this
My mother’s anguish dismissed as commonplace anger
………………………I squinted at that winding road, saw what it tried to tell me

We are allowed to peek it, call it even by name
………………………but cannot gaze into the fabled Abyss
You, too, may one day want to fling up your heart like confetti
………………………but you don’t get a coming-of-age
This complexity you feast on in pages, songs and film
………………………you were never meant to carry this

Only wisdom, biting wisdom, wisdom enough to grasp
………………………the sublime nuances of rage
Throw away that slice-of-life caprice and those thoughtful narratives
………………………the world has other things in store
You, too, may one day want to fling up your heart like confetti
                        but you don’t get a coming-of-age

Throw away that slice-of-life caprice and those thoughtful narratives
………………………the world has other things in store
Though I had just begun looking down that winding road
………………………to fathom its edges, serpentine and deceitful
Girl, you will gash your fingers on the prick of anonymity
………………………and never dare ask for more
You don’t get a plot twist. Your story’s been penned
………………………with strokes as hollow as they are spiteful

 

A. Martine is a trilingual writer, musician and artist who goes where the waves take her. She might have been a kraken in a past life. She’s an Assistant Editor at Reckoning Press and a Managing Editor of The Nasiona. Her collection of poems, “AT SEA” was shortlisted for the 2019 Kingdoms in the Wild Poetry Prize. Some of her fiction, nonfiction and poetry can be found or is forthcoming in: Berfrois, The Rumpus, Bright Wall/Dark Room, Metaphorosis, South Broadway Ghost Society, RIC Journal, Lamplight, the Score! anthologyTERSE. JournalGone LawnTruancy Mag, Crack the SpineConfessionalist ZineGhost City Review. Follow her @Maelllstrom/www.maelllstrom.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s