Thought I'd join you guys in the poetry section. Here's a piece I wrote recently. Hope you enjoy!
Copper Glaze Sienna is more than a color
in a tube of lipstick.
It's more than a glittery copper sunset
translated into wax for smothering lips.
This small harmless item
could put the fear of God in me
when placed upon a blank canvas
that was my mother's face.
To have this effect, it had to be solitary,
a rushed afterthought in a fit of rage.
The only color shimmering
against splotchy skin and neutral lashes.
Think, Mommy Dearest, bent coat hangers and all.
It was her attempt at looking presentable
on a day she was out for blood.
while most children were watching Smurf's
with syrup on their breath
from a pancake hangover,
I lived in fear, hiding under my canopy bed,
bitting my nails to nubs.
Her tyrant would begin early,
Copper Glaze Sienna her sole companion.
A bond I recognized early on.
With orange lips puckered tight,
she would start just after breakfast was served.
Slamming cabinets, screaming
she was not the African American maid.
Except, she didn't use the word African American,
it just didn't deliver the same impact.
Then the fighting would crank up
like a satisfied lover, starting soft
under her breath mumbles,
increasing to a harmonious climax.
Only, her needs weren't being met
of course I didn't know this yet.
So there began a yelling match
between a resentful wife
and a checked out husband,
where threats of leaving never to return
became the norm.
There wasn't a name to be called that was off limits,
I knew them all by nine.
Her fits were a close relative
to the summer storms that made me cry.
Quick approaching, dangerous
with heavy rain,
you thought the world was going to end.
But like all things, the storm would calm
the sun would shine it's promise.
And Copper Glaze Sienna wouldn't look so evil
alongside blue lids with noir lashes,
flawless skin with rosy cheeks.
She would become mom again.
My Saturdays are now spent lounging
around in pj's with my kids
watching cartoons through their eyes.
No ones in a hurry
and the house is messy but I don't care.
My brother's family is not so lucky.
He's carrying on mother's tradition
only his family has no warning
a storm is coming.
Copper Glaze Sienna is not his color.