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Letter to my Daughter. My Sunset. My Sunrise.

Dearest Naima Katherine

Dearest Nakay

little bear cub

baby girl

my daughter

every year the flowers return like old friends

to teach me about healing

that cycles are sacred


You are like spring blossoms

such newness in your ancient beauty

in your small, sturdy, laughing body

that dances to Bob Marley and Ella  

that swirls and tips 

shimmers to all the rhythms of living

that is fierce in your love and wants 


Born into the hardest year

a year of so much death

Black, Brown and Indigenous People

stolen by bullets, by hate, by greed

not new but suddenly, relentlessly visible


Born into the most beautiful year

young Black, Brown and Indigenous People

leading the way 

thank every god, goddess, tree, 

river, stone and star for young people


That is life, both together

as simple as seeds pushed into earth 

flowers blooming forth

as impossible as bringing the dead back to life

this love of others, this love of self


Life is hard, there is no way around it

but not this madness they make of living

this war on bodies, earth, this war on water, soil 

this war on the very air

and I Can’t Breathe becomes a rallying cry


May you know earth, know your body, 

know beauty for how it feels 

not for how it looks

again, may you know beauty 

for how it feels, not how it looks


Chant it down

no hands of authority and control on your skin

no touch that you do not invite

that you do not desire


May deep self-love walk beside you, just holding your hand

even when you feel shitty, even when your heart is on the ground

give yourself a break, let yourself off the hook, again and again

May you walk surrounded by ancestors and good company 

May you wake to joy and pleasure as much as sadness and anger


My sweet baby girl, don’t take shit from people  

struggle for justice, create and share life with people 

who have your back, who like to dance and celebrate

remember to get more of your information from your own thinking

from your heart and breath, from music and silence

and all night talking with people you love

than from media, internet, expert sources 


I am writing this letter to you in the small backyard garden 

I spend all night out here until the sun sets 

the stars come out, the bats and the nighthawks 

replacing the bees and robins at the endless task 

of keeping the world turning/blooming /pollinating /dying/ living/ dying/ living...


and me, a tipsy woman dancing in my small patch of grass 

with the street light casting long shadows

while you dream

your own epics

your own landscapes


I stand among the perfumed Phlox and Milkweed 

looking up at your window   

You pulse orange and pink, brown and gold

black like velvet, like bear, like the universe 

full of stars

as magical as the hummingbird moth

that appears next to me, drinks from the blooms 


My dearest Daughter, always know that your Mama 

your Baba and Grandpa and all those magic Aunties 

that keep coming around and around

are all working for a world worthy of all that you are 

all that you want to be

but most important know 

in your stardust bones 

in your sacred skin

that world is now

because you are now

that world is now

because you are now. 

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