For my Children


Here lies the body of the Woman I was,

I lay her to rest on the bones of the Girl I was,

On the dust of the child I was,

On the memory of the babe my mother bore,

So painfully.

That her pain should be repaid with suffering of a different kind,

Leaving freedom in her wake for the blessed burden of another life,

Willingly she did this, for someone,

Totally dependent on her,

Here lie my rose colored glasses for a babe knows nothing of pain,

A babe knows everything of need and helplessness,

In a way we are all in someway ever babes.

Are we not?

Here lies a child’s laughter,

Unapologetically loud and resigned of all things labeled,

Innocent is what I was then,

Too young to know the ugliness of life,

Of a cousin beating on a wife,

To see the patterns of rape in his daughter,

To feel outrage at such things.

I was young and innocent,

I will not apologize for it.

I was protected lucky me, as I was humble, and sheltered,

A right that should be reserved for all children,

A right that should be reserved for mine,

I bid you please not to take that away.

But as all great eras must, my innocence ended.

Not as abruptly as my peace,

Ripped away slowly as time and age and circumstance came to call,

That with my first crimson tide, should come an awareness of myself.

A truth both profound and terrifying.

I am Precious, Precious, PRECIOUS,

and no one least of all I, should take that for granted.

It is a weight most heavy on a young woman’s shoulders.

Easily misinterpreted or mis-allocated with all the voices screaming,

BE FREE like this,

BE YOU like us,

BE HAPPY but not too much so,

BE UNTOUCHABLE in the heart,

BE TOUCHED by anyone who draws near,

for all this fit into the new mold that crushed the last,

as I tried and failed to grasp the woman I was becoming,

and thus I became…

I became a woman of value despite myself.

Despite all the deeds done in rebellion of whom I can’t remember,

For reasons I cannot relate lest a damn burst,

And I vomit hell in verse into your lap.

I became a woman,

With responsibility hefted on my shoulder by my own choice,

I took on that constriction around my chest and in my soul,

the one that does not let me draw breath but to move ever forward for them.

I was lucky, to have someone with me then,

To grow as I did, and learn as I did, to fall with me and let me fall

and himself fall away at times,

Creating those fractures in my being that let wisdom seep through,

To build the memory examined in hindsight,

that laid the pillars of my values, my dedication,

Leaving room for the fluidity of change within myself.

Even though I didn’t know it then,

Did not value the furrows I left in the fertile soil of his spirit,

Now and then, maybe even before time had meaning, joined to mine.

So that he recognized me as home and I labelled him my safe harbor.

He will always come back, I will always go back, Bound like that,

is impossible to dismiss easily.

Tumultuous I died,

Taken by the cancer of self doubt, self righteousness,

self importance, self respect and then neglect,

trying to become a celebrated martyr,

but there is no honor in this, no honor,

And so she too was laid to rest over the refuse of her predecessors.

Her eulogy written not in tears but in deeds yet to come,

As the Lady who grew from the rich earth of her background,

Rises meteorically,

Metamorphosed now into someone worthy of the

unconditional love of bright shining eyes,

Sending their own unapologetic utterances of joy into the ether,

Before the ugly steals their laughter,

A safe haven for their purity,

A blueprint to their probity.

Here I lay to rest the woman I was,

for my children.



About Michelle Toussaint

Michelle Toussaint is an Antiguan who has amassed an Associate Degree in Science Education as well as a Diploma in Forensic Science. As such, she Teaches Science in the classroom as well as at home, where she co-leads The Tribe. A merry band comprising her Husband-The Chief, herself-The Priestess, and her three precocious children- the tribesmen. When she isn’t mothering, teaching, being a fangirl or feeding her chocolate addiction. She writes two blogs. Random_Michelle and Death By Expectations. View all posts by Michelle Toussaint

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