May 9, 2017 9am
Going to court today to fight
for residential custody of
children already in my custody.
The school district is making me do it.
I really don’t care
about the tax implications,
or the possibility of child support.
I just want My Child to go
to a school district where
there are fewer fights at school,
where the adults run the school and
have a sense that these grown looking
hormone driven creatures are children still.
At the end of last month due to a glitch,
the Silent Sentinel, Girlie and I
lost Medicaid coverage for a day.
Sure just one day shouldn’t be a big deal
except for the trickle down factors that
kicked my kids out of their managed care plan.
I’m special, I never was in the plan
I just have to hunt for doctors
who accept straight medicaid.
There aren’t many that I can find
so I’m accustomed to paying out of my shallow pockets
for dental and vision coverage
cause it’s just once a year for dental and vision
Now I have bifocals that cost me less
than two months premium
I had gotten used to getting by
finding sales for vision and dental care.
Cause I enjoy shopping for health coverage?
No, I don’t.
Get a job you say?
Managing four children is a job.
Have fewer children you say?
Stop making it so difficult to get reliable birth control.
Thanks for that suggestion though, how thoughtful of you.
I’ll just keep my legs and my mouth shut.
I grow as much food as I can
for a disabled middle aged young person.
I used to work as many jobs as possible
when I only had three children, a business
and less mental illness.
Yes, mental illness.
It’s not a death sentence, or a curse.
People are just really VERY ignorant about the subject.
Depression is real. Anxiety is worse than depression.
It may be all in my head, but it comes out in my actions.
It doesn’t make me a bad parent.
It just makes me a weepy, terrified creature
who prefers to shop online and pick up my groceries
from the drive through services.
I have great relationships with my mail carrier,
the UPS driver and my neighbors who speak to me.
My dreadlocks and the state of my yard
make me seem “mysterious and mystical.”
Actually, I was called a “witch.”
Usually, people ask me if I’m Jamaican.
Cause that’s not ignorant either.
HAH! Code words for the first black woman in the neighborhood.
Or, the first black person they have spoken to long enough
to realize that ebonics is not a racial requirement.
Among black people, I get,”You sound white on the phone.”
Yeah, I get that a lot, but I also speak french
and I’m not from Canada or Louisiana.
When I went to a conference in the deep deep south
I was the only person of color there who
was not part of the set up labor, or visiting.
I met some school kids who stared at me as if I were
a strange northern bird on her way to South America.
They asked me if I was mixed.
I forgot, well yes, I suppose I am
in the southern sense of the word.
Many generations back,
my people were mixed.
We are the product of this great melting pot.
I am dark skinned to my children,
my mother and maternal grandmother,
the same color as my aunt and uncle,
but light skinned to the children who live
on an island with mostly black folk.
My father, and his brothers are dark skinned compared to me,
but light skinned compared to those beautiful children.
We are all a mixture of something.
When you are brown it’s just more obvious.
When I was in France for a semester in college,
I was told that I had the height of one tribe,
the forehead of one, and nose of another,
though my hair and my color were “ALL WRONG”
but I was declared to be too skinny to be an American
and I spoke French with a Morrocan accent.
After a summer in the sun gardening my hair turns red.
Like children whose hair turn blond in the summer sun.
This country is a fabulous place to people watch and
guess the heritage or accents of peoples.
Pittsburgh and Youngstown are very similar.
Boston, Brooklyn and Chicago sound magical.
The New England accent gives me pause.
West Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky and North Carolina
leave me staring like a schoolgirl with my jaw dropped
in awe at the subtle syllables.
My high school choir teacher said
southern students could sing more clearly
because they didn’t have as many sharp
Northern nasal twangs to their diction.
No hard ARRRS, ERRZ and metallic EEEEEZ.
When I’m anxious going in to an
unfamiliar place, I look for familiar faces.
I know I will have spit in common with them
other than the feeling of not looking like
the majority of people in the hall of a choir concert,
heavy metal concert, blacksmithing event or sculpture convention.
Really, I do this.
I don’t leave because of it though.
I just keep going on my merry way,
knowing I have eyes on my back.
I’m always gonna like Metallica and
singing Madrigals and hammering on metal
after annealing it with a torch.
Then I will stick that ten foot tall
flower in my yard, like the American Flag
in my neighbor’s yard.
They can ignore me, but I will still be here.