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resurrection of the daughter


the family had been ill for some time
quarantined/ socially restricted
to bridge & Sunday brunch by the pool
the mother called her daughters twice a day
she saved the son for emergencies
the father drove around a lot
there were no visible scars
under the daughters' biba eyes
lay pain like rachel's/ the rage of zelda
delavallades' pirouettes in stasis
the daughters cd set a formal table
curtseys if no descendants of slaves
& speak english with no accent at all
they were virgins for a long time
one waz on punishment for a month
cuz she closed her eyes while dancin on the wrong
side of town
mama who came from there/ knew too well
a cheap pleasure cd spell remorse
for an upwardly mobile girl
& the girl learned well/ she paid for her
lovers with her suffering
never knowing some love is due you
she waved her tears in her lover's face
the more there were/ the more they were worth
the son looked down on these things
his women did his laundry & his cooking
but they were not crying
the father waz also not crying he waz with ulcers
& waited on the cliffs
where his daughters' lovers prayed for his demise
dyin to be the heads of a sick household
the lovers o the daughters wrought pain
deception & fear wherever they turned
& the son dept his distance
the mother called him in emergencies/ occurred all the time
the daughters believed they were ugly dumb & dark
like hades/like mud/ like beetles/ & filth


the mother washed all the time & kept her kitchen
clean
the father wore perfumes/ thot sex a personal decision


a daughter convinced her beauty an aberration
her love a fungus/ her womb a fantasy
loft eh asylum of her home on a hinch
she wd find someone who cd survive tenderness
she wd feed someone who waz in need of her fruits
she wd gather herself an eldorado of her own makin
a space/ empty of envy/ of hate
she a daughter refused to answer her mother's calls
she refused to believe in the enmity of her sisters
the brother waz callt to see to the emergency
the father bought a new stereo
& she was last seen in the arms of herself
blushing
having come to herself
in the heat of herself


daughters wait for the wounded to scream themselves
to death
daughters choosin to be women
lick their wounds with their own spit
                              til they heal

Written by Ntozake Shange

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