This is a letter/poem I wrote to Lupita’s character Patsy after seeing a New Orleans Screening of ‘12 Years a Slave’. Her gut-wrenching performance made me want to hold my greatest grandmother whom likely suffered the same circumstances. I don’t know her name or what she looks like, but after seeing Lupita’s portrayal of Patsy this is what I desperately wanted to say to her.
Letter To My Distant Mother
Dear my mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother,
I’m sorry they stole you from your mother and lifted you from your soil. I’m sorry they stained your evolution. I wish I possessed the authority to rewrite your shestory. I’m sorry your entire existence was not properly recorded. But you are forever here in my mirrors. The same clouds that condense over me now covered you then. I walk the same grounds, but I don’t look down. I’m sure you recognize every blade of grass. My great great great great great great great, I’m so sorry that my skin is not as beautiful as yours, for it has been many years tainted. I’m sorry he kissed you and laid hands. I’m sorry you ever had to back down. I’m sorry they did not call you queen and that rags replaced your gowns of gold. I’m sorry that I will never feel the weight of your crown. You are so pure and worthy. You are not in vain. As I gain age your womanly magic reveals in me. Tell me about your secret pathway to God. Oh, lend me your kind of faith. I’m sorry you were sold like the jewels you once wore. I’m sorry that your language was smothered before you could give it to me. I wish to speak as beautifully as you did. I’m sorry that they threw away your name. It should not be this hard to find. But believe me, you are more than worth the searching. Although we are separated by time, sometimes I feel you next to me. When my room gets that still silence I believe it’s you or Jesus watching me. Are you my angel? I feel you looking over my shoulder in my midnight creativity. I hope you’re pleased with what you read. I pray you see your strength in me. I’m sorry that they sold your love. I’m sorry if you couldn’t hold your children under stars. I am evidence that they were as strong as you. I’ve never seen or touched your face, but I know your beauty. Your riches are evident. But I’m longing for tangible evidence. Your song forever echoes throughout the universe. I wonder if we sing the same. How did you lift your voice in darkness? I’m sorry that all was done to dim your light, remove your wings, and alter your magnificent spirit. I’m sorry he coveted your ebony bliss. I want to go back and lift you out of all the corners you were backed in. I am sorry for your flesh pains - a lash for an eyelash. I wish I were just your daughter and not your storm’s aftermath. I’m sorry for your soul’s agony and all intentions to break you. I wish I could go back and change your fate. I take this opportunity to speak your name, out loud, in thanks. Thank you for all you’ve passed down to your daughters and marvelously excluding hate.
Your distant daughter
Poetry - 2014(via lupitanyongoart)
Only thing is … Solomon’s story wasn’t that many mother’s mother’s ago.