G*d Could Not be Everywhere; Therefore Made Mothers
BY NICOLE MITCHELL.
My mother’s sewing machine whirs across time
stitching her & I & my sister
to Depression-era housewives
who made lemon tarts with vinegar in the place of citrus;
women in our lineage know
how to make scarcity taste abundant.
The masks she makes us have space to slide a coffee filter;
were made with nothing she didn’t already have
which is to say
they were conjured from years of want
in the name of every woman who’s ever skinned a storm cloud
and made a coat of the silver-lining.
Onion skins and carrot tops to broth
A coupon & a sale &
that can has a dent can we have a discount
to groceries for the week.
Lead to gold. Water to wine.
What is change but another name for Divinity?
My mother never taught us to pray with clasped hands
or heads bowed in supplication.
Instead she showed us how to fold fear into a dumpling wrapper
crease it into luck, possibility;
Nicole Mitchell is a queer, mixed-race white and Chinese woman. She teaches 2nd grade in Oakland, CA. Her poetry has appeared in Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color. You can follow her on Instagram @nic.mitch.the.witch.