What is a thousand dollars
if I can't kiss the scars off my mother's feet
replenish the color of her sunken cheeks
stuff her stomach when she refuses to eat
subtract years from her age
and give her the life she lost when she sacrificed
for her unborn child at the age of eighteen?
I just want her to be happy.
If only I were older, a little wiser, a tad stronger
she could give me half her burden and massage her shoulders
of the imprint it left.
Sometimes I curse my black skin and the body part between my legs
if I were white or perhaps a man,
I could hand her the world on a silver platter surrounded by purple orchids
because purple is her favorite color
and orchids symbolize beauty and strength
traits my mother possesses but doesn't acknowledge
because what is strength if pain is still felt?
What is beauty if it fades?
I swear I will make it so that you will never say:
"I'm in pain."
I will become older,
and lift your sadness in one hand
and hand you your silver platter of happiness with the other.