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You are droplets of sunlight in the midst of a rainstorm,

reminding me

the Constant breathes for me

when I am drowning.

 

You are the Roar when my words won’t come—

speaking for me,

reminding me

I am never voiceless.

 

In this world disparaged by the Blight of divisiveness,

you are true Eden,

reverberating the vibrancy of the Righteous.

You remind me to love.

 

For you, I too, will be

Bender of Light,

Queen of this Jungle,

Garden of Peace.

I will remind you to love.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

(image: Richard Peters)

23

The day was grey-blue, echo of your eyes;

sky filled up with promise of rain,

and we waited for beloved petrichor.

Lemon yellow and speckled black,

a noble friend

clasped

your flaxen strands and flexed its wings.

What dreams did she bring, my darling?

Do you know how often

I dream of the daylight that dances

upon your face?

Formed inside my body, you are

living art,

gusting love from

honest lungs—

you speak your truths.

Honor your heart always, baby girl,

and you’ll always be rewarded with

self-respect.

Live kindly,

and the butterflies

will flock to you,

forever.

Despite the pain I live with every day, I often do forget that I’m not twenty anymore–until I hand down to my girl some vintage band tees too small for me now. Goodbye Fleetwood Mac tank top, and Rolling Stones long sleeved t-shirt. See you around, Abbey Road with the small hole in the armpit. Rick Springfield, you’re next, dude. And poor Peter Frampton, my beloved…I promise you’ll live on in the hands of Nicole. She’ll treat you right. I just can’t stretch you across my boobs anymore. Okay, so my boobs aren’t the real problem. I’ll be thirty-nine in December, and I’m a good deal heavier everywhere than I was twenty years ago.

Thank you, Fibromyalgia—you really do cramp my style, and by that I mean you’ve made me fat. My bell bottom jeans just don’t fit right anymore, and I wonder who I am when I go out in yoga pants and sweatshirts. You’ve taken my identity and my will to give a fuck. I throw my hair up in Pebbles buns now, and wear my glasses every day. I wear slip on shoes, for fuck’s sake. Granted, my shoes are colorful and cute as fuck, and I rock a messy bun, especially when I’m wearing glasses. I refuse to allow you to take away my good humor. You take away my concentration; sleep; self-esteem; sanity; appetite; motivation; and MY T-SHIRTS, among loads of other things…you can’t have my goddamned humor, too.

I thank the Universe for Nicole. My girl reminds me who I am better than anyone. I had a lovely day with her yesterday, full of laughs and stimulating conversation. So there’s another thing Fibromyalgia and my other health issues cannot take away from me—my daughter, and our beautiful relationship.

I know I’ve posted this song a million times before, but I’m posting it again. This is the song that I would play when Nicole was a baby—when she’d wake up crying in the night. I’d hold against my chest, and dance her back to sleep. My special babe. I’d be nothing good without her.

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If you’d let me, I’d count your freckles—each kiss print from the sun—I’d connect the dots of constellations tattooed on your alabaster skin—a magic map to be deciphered by the moonlight. You are the cosmos in human form—all-encompassing and beautiful beyond description. When I’m with you, I am energized; positivity radiates from your being, and in your eyes, I see the universe and the purpose for life. You are the solar system I was meant to bring forth, my darling girl—a part of you is an angel singing on high in the dark of outer space. I am blessed to be your mother. I am in awe of you. So sometimes I stare, because to look upon you is to see that some sort of divinity does exist. You are perfection to me, and I love you. I love you endlessly, my daughter, and you will always be the pinnacle of my life.

All my life, mother,

I’ve loved you above myself

even when you’ve loved yourself

more than you’ve loved me in return.

I now know you’ve hated yourself

for making me abandon myself

in hopes you’d love me in return.

You’re sick, my mother;

you’re aware.

But I am strong, and you are proud.

You don’t have to change

because I am

me.

I erase your guilt

because I am strong,

and I can handle you.

Self-hatred comes only in

tolerable intervals.

Tolerable for yourself;

when I’m teaching you lesson

I’m fucking hating myself

because I know I’m making you

fucking miserable, reminding you that you’re

a shit mother–and it’s not even your fault.

Do you know the rage in my heart

kept hot for your mother and father?

How is it that you can forgive them–

have a relationship with these two fucks,

but I cannot stand to even think their names?

I am your offspring, and I love you better than a mother.

I have taken care of you, chased off men better than a father.

I am your daughter, and sometimes I don’t want to be.

But really, who the fuck would I be without you?

I’m grateful for my life with you because

you taught me how to live.

 

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Year 20

I look to my Sun–

alabaster skin

blue-grey eyes;

still seas

but never silent.

Year 20

She’s aged 100,

immortally kind,

ageless wise;

true mouth

but never savage.

Year 20

Nicole, I may have given birth to you, but you have given me life.

 

My daughter is my light, my breath, my heart that pumps the life through my body. I love her endlessly, and so intensely I happily weep whenever I hear this song. It is our song.

When my girl was an infant, I played soft music for her at night. As infants do, she would wake up in the dark and cry. Nightswimming is the song that lulled her back to sleep; I’d hold her against my chest, and dance lightly to this song until she closed her eyes, and I could hear the deep, even breathing of sleep.

A precious memory. THE memory that gets me through so many bad days.