neglect

April 13, 2009
By , jacksonville, FL
I was her first born child, the one she learned how to breastfed and disciplined me when I talked too much jibber jabbers. When her mocha thin framed fingers roamed through my hair and told me that I was God’s gift to earth, I never knew she would have to be replaced. You could say she was Aunt Jemima off the pancake box. I had my breakfast every morning before daycare, she made sure my appearance was well kempt, and would decapitate anyone big fat or tall who bothered with her china doll. I can never begin to think about where the neglect started because everything seemed to go down hill too fast.
September 5, 1999 is what killed my Barbie life and what opened my eyes to the real world. It was the day that blew life in to my younger sister but swelled my eyes so, that I couldn’t continue to feel the sincerity of mankind. My sister was born premature at St.Vincent’s hospital at maybe 5 pounds or so, for three weeks on end I prayed to the listening above to heal my sister from inker banter. They say she was born too early due to drugs being found in my mama system. That was the day the skies were light gray the wing chiseled and the clothes on my grandma line dangled to the ground. When my sister recovered form the hospital the system told us we had to pack and move with my grandma. It was fatal every night my grandma eyes swelled with hurt for she would never believe her only child the only creature she blew breath in to couldn’t breathe without a crack pipe.
I surely thought the madness would end then .The fatal realization that your kids are tooken your pancake box appearance is suffering would make any one straighten up. Not her , numerous strokes, heart diseases, elder child need counseling , youngest have no respect ,permanent black eye ,dialysis throughout the week ,poverty ,she is still this way and is depending on nothing but family ,she is still married eternally to her pipe.
I no longer pray for anything because when my knees were swelling and my lips quench in thirstiness, it seemed no one could hear me. I do not wish for self pity to be inflicted on me but just for one day to be able to hope again and not waking up to the realization this is how things are. I often questioned God’s authority and cursed his “abusiveness “towards me by delivering me a mother that I have to cook for and pray for deliverance. Then again as I got older I praised him because I realized that it would be my child that picked up the beer bottles and littered cigarettes around the bed, watching me sleep for days for no return, and it would be child that would be reciting grandma’s number over and over again, 5-6-8-8-8-9-9 so it wouldn’t forget when hunger lingered for eternity from my neglect.
I often catch myself asking my peers what their parents are. I hear it and often pondered what it would feel like if my mother was a doctor, lawyer, or even if she could be my teacher, but better yet I wondered what it would feel like if I actually had a mother to pick me up from school or make smiley face sandwiches when my day was bad and outside the weather was pouring .Instead of a mother who chose her love and addiction over me ,and caused my grandmother to no longer able to feel the crushed sand linger between her toes on the beaches of Jamaica ,or that once had a well decorated house but now has instead three grandkids with walls crumbling in.

It’s funny how well I bury things like my emotions when it seems like they’re all disappeared ,and then eight years later my journalism ask me do I need counseling. And it’s often hard to think of the time when she would buy me all the latest Disney movies and would make sure I had the latest things. But now as I think of it, she wasn’t never there when she promised to come to Play Day in head Start and instead Jacobi guided my body on the monkey bars so I wouldn’t slip and forget why I loved him so much. I guess that’s why I delivered him kisses when my china lips weren’t developed to be embroidered in fullness.
I always had a good memory and could even tell you my entire teachers name since Day Care , but I couldn’t tell you how it felt for my mama to kiss me when I was in middle school and reassure me that I wasn’t ugly and I didn’t need any make-up because my fire black blazing skin was already beautiful. Daddy wasn’t there either and was quite a rolling stone who had so many children I look out to listen for the last name Stringer, but there’s no love like mamas. Unborn children notice the mother’s voice and it’s often said to leave a piece of clothing of the mother next to the child so it wouldn’t feel neglected.
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My great grandma Hattie Mae spun her needles, back and forth spider fingers work woven like a web, and she knitted our family a quilt. A quilt of stitches generations crossing each other, intertwining, love, lies, pain, stitches crashing like ocean waves, drifting sifting uniting she created my grandmother Lisa. It was her who saved me when I roamed lands unknown searching for my mother and it was she who my daddy whispered the words that he didn’t want me ,but it was her that dried my pain and told me it was okay to cry from neglect and the betrayal of Aaron L.
I never have to look up the word neglect, because I’m the definition of it. But then again what causes me to be, so ungrateful. Because when mama was jigging to the words of Tupac, doing the wop in the clubs, hiding in crack houses, it was grandma who was there. Reading to me the words of Martin Luther King Jr., marching around the living room stuffing wisdom and the words every day yes I can! Yes I can, like Thomas the choo choo train, when I hate to prepare for school. And it was she who brought my first training bra, and when I made honor roll she felt like I became president. And it was the words of hers that soothed me when I was almost stepped on by my granddaddy with greasy wedged shoes. And told me that boys were animals and this was a Dog eating dog world with a few good humankind. And love gave birth but love also has the power to kill when it was neglected. She delivered me too quick to earth’s wrath and her neglect, but she is also still my leader of what not to be.





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