I remember the first time I read the phrase sky brown momma
Penned by Toni Morrison, I knew who she had in mind.
The sky isn’t brown, no
But the word sky is not to denote a color but more so a feeling
The sky is expansive
And so is the rise in your cheekbones, high enough for the sun to kiss
Gilding your face
Your light umber skin, stretched smooth across those cheek bones
Alighted with dark brown moles
A constellation of chocolate specks
The sky can take your breath away
And so you took mine.
I would sit and look at you,
Your hair, your skin, your laugh, your beautiful almond eyes, your full berry stained lips
And praise God for your beauty
Because not only did I see it,
I felt it
The rise in your cheeks as you smiled, your smell, your presence as encompassing as the sky
Filled me with warmth
And still does
As I sit where you sat, walked where you walked.
The sky humbles me
And so do you.
The pain you went through is overshadowed by your unbridled resilience
Brilliant you are
You thought a little differently
A little brown girl who no one understood, who people wrote off, mistreated and undervalued
Became an Ivy League Graduate, Published Author
And one hell of a Mother
But what melts me from the inside …
Was that heart of yours
Bruised and stitched
But pumping harder than any other I’ve ever met
Washing over every encounter with generosity
Every stich of your needle,
Words that were said,
Presents on my bed,
Unrelenting belief in me
Was so delicately wrapped in your thoughtful and unyielding love.
You’ve filled me with a lifetime’s worth
And I have to remember this when I miss you
Your gentle stroke on my scalp will always be felt
I will hear you tell me I am beautiful on my worst days
And see your sky brown face when it rains
You will forever be the most precious gift God has given me
I will fulfill both your dreams and my own
Your heart in me will be your legacy
I promise you.
Before writing this,
I set out to write my best piece of work for you
But no words can memorialize the love you have given me
So my life is my poem to you.
I love you in all that I do,
My Sky Brown Momma