I Remember: A Poem from a Son to his Mother

By Rashaad Pierre

Only because I can not express it better … I wrote a poem for you.

I do it all for you.
because you still do it all for me.

I remember it all like episodes from a show.
I believe my life actually began at the age of 4.
Do you remember when my ignorance was bliss?
I used to correct you and say , “No mom you are white, and I am mixed.”
I was not able to fully grasp the concept of what light skin meant.

Going broke to send me to St. Patrick’s because you refused to send me to Irvington High.

I remembered I was mad at you.
Why would you work the 4 to 12?
I remembered how much pain those numbers would bring me.
And everynight you would call me …
And when you would say I am doing overtime
I thought my time was over.

I was moving around everywhere,
To make sure I was not consumed by the block.
I became the neighborhood’s watch.
I remember Carmel, Tati Myrlaine, Edith, Appolos, Tati Mimose, Tati Marie-Angie and Tati Hermine.
I will never forget those people who took me in as there own.
But I later understood why.

We lived with Rats.
I knew Ratouille existed before anyone else did because they were already up in our food.
We lived with Roaches.
I remembered when I accidentally fell into the cockroach sticky pad
That was probably one of the most dreadful days of my 7 year old life.

We missed strays without owning a single dog.
The noises of chaos covered by fireworks.
My lowest day was losing Ola.
He was next door.
He was my favorite.
I could have only wondered if death was next door.
Just knocking to see if anyone was home.
Then …  the next door.
And … the next door.
And … the next door

But I was never harmed because of your protection.

Sometimes it was tough.
Sometimes you had to get rough.
Though our conditions were not the best
Your unconditional love made me know that all would be okay.
Your unconditional love is what helped us make it out.
I can go on and on as time and my love for you is infinite.

So if these words happen to be my last just know that:
This date is the most important date to me because the strongest woman I know was brought into this world.
I look at you my national hero, a legend.
I woke up with a smile because of this date.
Because of you.
Without you. I ceased to exist

And if I my last words are a long time from now then hopefully …

One day our roles will be switched.
One day I will buy you a car.
The world will have to now call you “Range Rove” Mom.
One day I will feed you with the most lavish and gourmet meals.
You deserve the best.
If you have a taste for pizza, we will fly to Italy.
One day, your closet will be walled with mirrors, so my diamond can marvel at herself.
One day I am going to treat you like a baby and buy you a crib.

Love you your son.
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