I called my mother’s phone number even though
she died last year. If she would have answered I
don’t know what I’d have said. At night
I often think of her as the vibrations inside the walls
of my room make disappearing sounds like invisible earwigs
behind the refrigerator

She came from a generation of first. A generation that
overcame Jim Crow and laughed in the white faces of
their oppressors as they showed us that we were
just as good or better. The first negro (as they were called in those days)
to graduate from the University of Washington’s School of Nursing,
the first negro Head Nurse at Harborview Hospital,
the first negro to live at her luxury retirement apartment,
and it was not easy to be the first
and yet they did it, she did it, with grace, with
compassion and with Love, even for her oppressors

It’s the number I called from the principals office, the bus station,
from Tai Tung, the crack house, and the King County jail,
a number, 767.4792 , Disconnected.
disconnected from that voice of assurance,
disconnected from that powerful force of Love
disconnected from that Will to be the first
disconnected from that home
known larger than life
where Big things happened
known only as a child

and now, since the Love has all poured out
elapsed and sifted to the bottom of
the hour glass of life
for the first time in my life
I feel completely alone.


3 thoughts on “Disconnected

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