claire can't see me.

a mom who is cooler in words than in life.

i come from a long line of mistakes.

“when you’re raised by brick, you easily forget the flaw of flesh”

samoan women are made to be beautiful brick
with hard hands and rough feet
and perfect scars
used often by others
as road maps to cross burnt bridges
we are brutal mothers
and arguing wives
cursing, yelling, slapping
our way to the kitchen
where we always eat last
picking over whatever is left
off the plates of others who have greedy eyes and lazy mouths
we dine on the last bits of humility
and gather the scraps to stretch honor
& hope
that tomorrow will bring enough
for everyone else to be happy
while we wait
our tears become dust that we sweep busy hands across
hurrying off
making sure that husbands are full
and children are fed
and uncles are fine
and guests are welcomed
because this is love to us
this we know we can provide
with our lava lavas tied tightly around our waist
we hide behind our complaints
& make shadows on the tiled floor
moving between sink and stove
washing, cooking, cleaning, fixing
just as our mothers have taught us how
we transform ourselves into homes
solid brick walls
that protect the ones enclosed inside
by sacrificing
from our children
as they run to
move out
of our ways.

to our daughters,
forgive us.

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