I was borne on winds of change
April showers comedy on a couple of
beautiful churchgoing souls
Bold, my father was
grey his eyes, red brown his hair
skin in chocolate-drenched sunlight
He opened eyes wide at the wide
delicate smile of my delicate mother before
she was my mother.

She stood straight upright, unbowed,
despite her father beating her mother
despite my unknown and beloved aunt, her sister
dying too soon, despite the iron lung
Despite South Bronx tenement living and
raucousness all around her
My mother was not loud, was proud
was never allowed to
be her dream, the one with needle and thread
in her head, she stood tall with her paper all in order
business like water
flowing into empty rooms
it would behoove
Daddy to work as hard as butchers
must, but he just
didn’t get that money
was fuel for more than
food
So it took Mom and jars of pennies and
empty pockets and
hidden envelopes and brown
bank books and
Daddy’s hurt looks and
at the end of the week, the
Finance people who lied about being
beneficial
Superficially before I was born
my moneymind was set in the bone
But that alone will not
stop my march to the dream that seemed to
drive my mother, with Daddy at
her side
Somehow they ride my shoulders
and steer to the very best stars

Terri MacMillan
The Tokyo Writers Salon May 2017

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