What I wish she had said instead

Baby girl, mama loves you. You are beautiful, but watch who you let in, because there will be armies of men hungry for a piece of that skin of yours, all because your undertone is more yellow than pink. girl, they will look so honourable – but remember that the devil doesn’t show his horns, he wears a halo and a crooked smile, so don’t let that smile beguile you. don’t let them beneath your skin to what is really beautiful about you- they will take that from you if you do. Baby girl, trust me, mama knows. Mama’s beautiful has been scraped and muddied and screwed by so many different kinds of devils that she can’t separate them in memory anymore. I have never seen an angel, my love, but I pray that they will swarm to you. I don’t see how they could resist, you being so much like honey; sweet, preciously guarded, desired and good for just about everyone.

Sometimes, when I talk to God about who you might become, about how many mistakes my most precious charge will make, that look like mine, I smile. Because baby girl, mama knows that He’s got you. He told me so. speaking of God, He speaks to us in ways that aren’t always easy to understand, so baby girl, don’t worry about those loved ones that haunt the corridors in your dreams, He will show you, in time what it means. Let it go, my love, and live free. Baby I want you to know Jesus, He is the standard to live by, don’t ever trust a suitor that isn’t living by that same standard- it can only hurt you both. Heartbreak is a diagnosis that mama knows so well, it almost feels like the only lover I could keep. Baby girl, don’t be any man’s lover unless he vows to keep you and if you make that mistake, like I did, know that Grace means we get to try again, so keep trying my darling, God doesn’t give up on us for anything. You are so precious to Him. more precious than you are to me, and to me, you are everything. My child, you are never alone.

when you grow, you will wonder about the influence of race on perceptions of beauty, because yours will only start thinking you beautiful around 16 years from now. You’re going to fall in love with your best friend more than once. It’s going to hurt, but you’ll get over it, trust me, there’s only so long you can love somebody before their not loving you too is enough for you to choose somebody that does. You’ll be okay, better if you learn to embrace how much heartbreak fixes heart things. Heart strings can make a beautiful sound if you find the right musician, so keep tuning yours to the Word, and he’ll come along with all the right ambitions to make that heart of yours sing.

Don’t ever give up on poetry; It’s the lung that never fails when life knocks the wind from you. You will write about so many things. In some ways, poetry will give you courage, in other ways, it will take courage to write that poem, but when you do, bravery will be an item on your growing list of credentials. Keep writing. Pens will always be beautiful to you, use them as spades to dig up the ink stuck just beneath the surface of that next blank page. Ask your questions there. Find your answers there. Explore love there. Say I love you there, when you haven’t the tongue strong enough to verbalise the words to him. Let poetry be your freedom.

At last, baby girl, know that there isn’t anywhere that I would rather be than here, with you. You can rely on me. Always.

Gros bisous

Darling, we are worlds apart but I think you beautiful. My words after the years have allowed us to drift from memory and pain and longing. Still, I will love you. Ton prénom sera dans mon cœur d’aujourd’hui à toujours.  I will trace the ways we’ve watched the stars like late-night conversation constellations and dream of how I used to dream about you. That night I will dream of you again, and wake up to tears that touch my skin as gently as your breath once did. Oh, how I will miss you when I have had my full three-score and ten. knowing that God somehow gave me the strength to do that without you will still give me shivers and I will wonder what your years looked like; if you are glad of how they blossomed. I will wonder what our blossoms would have looked like together. Tell me, love, would our garden have been full as beautiful as you? 

When I am seventy years old, I will not wonder where the years went, or mourn the fast-approaching end of my story. Instead, I will have a library of sentiments to share, I will be a vessel of well-lived- a crumpled poem, worn at the edges. Mon cheri, I will think of you often, with tenderness, but I will be happy and hope that you are too.

I will have written an anthology of poems about you and not all of them will be sad, or tinged  with that bitter hue of what might have been, had you let it. Eventually I will stop trying to blame you for the story we never got to create, or for your leading me to believe that our story had already lived through its infancy. I will have forgiven you then, not in patches of I love you, I hate you, I miss you, don’t touch me, stay with me, leave, come to me, forget us, forget it, forget everything, but fully.

Yes, when I am old I will regard you with all the wisdom and understanding that such a feat as age bestows upon a person. But I am young still and continue to idealise our small handful of kisses as a tragic love-story, though it’s duration was scarcely longer than that of a lone candlestick. There is beauty there, somewhere, and I feel that If I could only dig a little deeper in this poem and a little farther in that, then I will surely find it and have peace. It is a noble task, I think.