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My mother and I are always best on sundays
When she jigs into my room that morning
I pretend to be asleep just so I can keep hearing her sing, a raspy rumbling thing
I fake a yawn and stretch like I hadn’t already been tapping
my foot on the edge of my bed

Then all morning we boogie, do each others hair
I teach her how to do her blush cause she always forgets
belt out haitian gospel like the words had been scraped into our beings at birth
as though we hadn’t had an argument last night about being in sync

But we’ll sashay to the car as if the driveway was runway
and we always miss sunday school
slide into the back row
And I watch her at her happiest

And she is whirling
Buoyant and jubilant in the presence of God
as though she hasn’t been complaining about her back pain
As if she hadn’t spent 2 days in bed, while her hair grayed before our eyes
At church she takes off the heels she spent hours choosing

She’s rocking back and forth on her heel
Eye closed as if she were sleeping
sings softly voice cracking
Arms straight up palm flat wide open like she’s waiting
for God to place the answers in her hand

And I think about a thing I hope isn’t a sin
I want to ask her what’s different about every other day?
Her arms are tambourines
She looks at me and flames are dancing in her brown eyes
In that moment I know that nothing else
could make her happier than being here
Gyrating and everything else seems still
Except for the sound of an organ and babies wailing, except for maybe the sound of knees cracking like walnuts
Nothing gets to her
Stress is a myth, her hair a still black and curled like a fist
The walls are soundproof
And that is why I go to church every Sunday

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