(Photographers: Mike & Emily Carpenter)

A Certain Heavy

Did you also exist in so much noise?
Was the face that mirrored your own warm?
I have always imagined it was cold.
Have you too been sliced by a familiar tongue?
One that lashes around in a bitter mouth?

When you were my age who combed your hair?
Were they sweet?
Did their fingers ever get tangled in your coils?
And when it was too hard to comb through, did they pull violently?
Or were their hands slow? Careful.

I wonder on the lonely nights you spent in your sun-heated room, if you also wept uncontrollably?
What for?
Who hurt you?
Who kept you awake?

You know, there are days I wish I could hold you.
Not as you are now, but who you were then.
There are days I wish I could banish you.
Back to that room.
Back to the thoughts that left you hardened.

When you are at your fiercest, you are your weakest.
Sometimes when you raise your voice, I only hear the frustration of a child.
Especially when you avoid me.
Too proud to say sorry.

One morning I awoke to find you crying.
I thought I could weep with you.
You turned your back and cried at the wall.
One afternoon you found me crying.
You closed my door.

Do you know what it is like to love someone who is suffering?
A person afraid of their own softness.
I have seen you scrub floors more delicately, than tell your children where they came from.

There is so much of you in me.
Even in the corners I keep hidden.
I try my best to feel more than anger.
More than disappointment.
More than temporary joy.
And there are days I succeed.
And then there are days that my own mind works against me.

It is scary seeing someone else’s eyes in your own.
I think about you a lot.
I have a million questions, more than you will ever have answers.
And maybe I have the answer to this one, but please tell me?
Do you know what it feels like to be your mother’s daughter?

ALCYNNA LLOYD

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