I heard a little girl
raging through the house
and hit the littler ones, scratching,
her small hand, lesser pain under her fingernails,
lesser pain than that which leaked
out in bruises on her legs and arms
Left by her stepfather.
And her mother sat silenced by fear.
I heard a man scream: ‘a frickin nigga’
Lesser pain dripping down the corners
of his foaming mouth
While he hammered and broke universe
into segments and pieces,
With lesser pain than that
of the loneliness of his life
And his fear to love and lose again,
once his mother lay silenced in grave.
I heard bombs explode
On bodies mutilated
Shredded and cut on the sharp edges of the lesser pain
lesser pain than that of hopeless existence
loss of dignity, loss of voice
death of seeds that you grow
In your grandfather’s garden.
Pain measured up against pain
like colored rings in baby toy stacker…
And their mothers silenced by beliefs.
Lesser pain lurks and grows,
Sneaks in the footsteps of his older brother.
But what if mothers are silent no more?
What if they rise from their graves, from fear and opinions,
And their hands, as strong as those men,
Drag out lesser pain from dark attics
Boil it in large steaming pots
Dry lesser pain on a line,
Where it flaps in the wind
like a peace dove, stuck
But we don’t need symbols,
We need mothers’ soft hands to brush out the wrinkles
For us to wrap the wounds
And cover each other in that warmth