When the Clock Strikes Six Feet


Before I was your mother, I knew the sleep of un-worry.
Loved a seamless kind of love that knows no blood or pulp.
On the morning I noticed them all dying, 
One black and brown boy and girl after another, I knew we’d seen it before.
Did I not feel the swell and bulge of bruised flesh the first time? 

The Second time? The third?
Is this a body burying another body inside of me?
Somewhere, another mother cries her last cry: the finale.

This once sweet earth, now wretched, muddied with rain and too small limbs.
How many dead black and brown children does it take to make the heaviest man howl?
In my dream, I watch them line up one by one by one, 
Cock back their now lifeless shoulders, still beautiful, still somehow forgiving, still
Kicking and screaming. They know we cannot hear them.

Better yet, act like everything still comin’ up clean, while they flounder.
Understand, only when we are buried neck deep in the same ground.
This knowing splits me clean open. All the bodies buried inside of me spill out, 

Waltz away with limbs intact, carefully brush off the mud.
A song I do not recognize repeats over and over and over. 
The children laugh with their other mothers, ask me if I want to dance.
Ever been in a dream where you’re sure you’ve already awoken?
Right before I open my eyes, they kiss me gently, one by one by one.
Someday, I know I must send you into this battlefield, flushed
With taken bodies, mothers sewing and wailing; too many names stitched into the soil.
A song that is vaguely familiar repeats over and over and over, 
Leaves me an emptied dreamer. The sleep of un-worry
Long since gone. My bags packed, full of fresh demons, 
Oddly shaped and dressed like children I once knew. 
When I was not yet your mother. When I rested sweetly, undisturbed, 
Surrounded by unfilled graves.

Before I was your mother. When I knew sleep, unworried; 
A tame fear. Till the day they ripped you still wet from me, and I bled a new kind. Oh, 
Cock back your trembling shoulders, little ones. I am awake, wholly.
Know I will ruin, every shovel I meet, that dare even whisper your name.

About Sarah Myles Spencer

Sarah Myles Spencer is a mama, poet, singer/songwriter who’s worked with a variety of artists, including Snoop Dog, E-40, and (the late) Davy Jones. A multi-time Best of the Net Nominee and Pink Door Fellow, her work appears in A La Palabra: The Word is a Woman Anthology – Mothers & Daughters, Words Dance Magazine, Requiem Magazine, and more. For more info, visit www.sarahmylesspencer.com View all posts by Sarah Myles Spencer

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