Flip Flops and Poems

Writing poems is like wearing flip flops. Let me explain before you dismiss the simile and skip this verse. You see, I’m under five feet tall, and chose to walk most of my life in heels, the highest I could find, from when I turned sixteen until the summer I became a mother, and wore nothing but flip flops because Jamaica is hot and because … Continue reading Flip Flops and Poems

The Other Mother

Another woman birthed a child, and I became a mother, and it doesn’t matter why she couldn’t keep him, or why I didn’t birth a child myself because all there is to know is that this woman’s greatest loss gave me the gift of motherhood, unmatched in grace and beauty, and for which there simply is no way to thank this woman, without whom I … Continue reading The Other Mother

Our Truth

Don’t believe them, when they tell you that I saved your life the day we met in Montego Bay, and everything in the world turned upside down, and stayed that way– until we turned it right side up, having won that vicious battle to prove to one and all that we were meant to be a family. Don’t believe them, when they tell you that … Continue reading Our Truth

A Mother’s Plea

No, my son isn’t lucky There’s no fortune in losing one’s mother and father Sisters, brothers, neighbors Grandmothers, grandfathers Cousins, uncles, and aunts This is the village he had to lose To be my son No, I didn’t give him a life He already had one He was a soul on a journey The next leg of which required me To conduct the train His … Continue reading A Mother’s Plea

Mommy, Is Hate a Bad Word?

I became a mother accidentally. I had decided at some point in my turbulent twenties that I would not birth children, for fear that they would be too much like me. Nor had I ever planned to adopt. Children would be incompatible with the life of travel and abandon which I had dreamed up for myself for as long as I could remember, and which … Continue reading Mommy, Is Hate a Bad Word?

DeVostation Blues

As I bid goodbye to the security guards and make my way through the crowd of students who always linger for a few minutes after school, smoking cigarettes and teasing each other, I feel alone and broken, enraged by the confirmation of an unqualified, miseducated billionaire to lead the department for which I work and on whose decisions depend the lives of millions of America’s … Continue reading DeVostation Blues

My Soul’s Most Enduring Mate

We sit down at the kitchen island, nibble on pita and feta, and look at each other. It’s been this way since I woke up one morning a few months ago and found a teenager in my home. Maybe I would have been ready, if I hadn’t only had seven years of his boyhood, or if he wasn’t half a year short of turning thirteen, … Continue reading My Soul’s Most Enduring Mate

Shards and Tiles

There once was a time when I would tell people I was Armenian, just as soon as I’d shared my name and repeated it at least twice to allow the American tongue before me to wrap itself around the way my name was meant to be spoken. Sometimes, I’d mention Armenia in response to a comment about my exotic name, or my exotic accent, or … Continue reading Shards and Tiles

A Letter to My Children, on America’s Choice of Evil Over Good

My sweet Daniel and Imani, I didn’t stay up to hear the official result of yesterday’s election. Once it became clear that Hillary had lost Michigan and Pennsylvania, your father and I turned off the television, went to bed, and fell asleep in each other’s arms. We didn’t talk about anything; still haven’t. But we will. Because we know that there is a long and … Continue reading A Letter to My Children, on America’s Choice of Evil Over Good