A Mother’s Ferocious Love
Trapped like animals in their jungle village.
Strapped one to another: Young mother, daughter and son.
Shoved into ships, below deck,
so cramped, no room to stand.
The voyage was grueling.
Thin gruel was their mainstay.
These white masters with their whips at the ready
as steadily, her people died of fever and starvation.
The sound of the whippings, the whimpering.
Her son, finally succumbed to the wasting disease.
Now, as she wondered whether this boat would ever find land,
and she herself felt gripping pain in her gut.
Up on deck for the hosing down,
she clutched her baby girl in her arms,
inched her way to the rail and, in an instant,
they were both overboard, taken by the sea.
Her son had already been given to the water
after his death, tossed over like garbage.
At least now she and her baby girl would join the boy,
inseparable forever, engulfed in the endless waters. Free.
© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil