Our Mothers

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Photo courtesy Kevin Powell.

Our Mothers

(for my aunt, Birdie Lou Powell)

By Kevin Powell

What would we be without you?

Even God herself

Knows that our mothers

Are miracle angels

Swiping away the sun’s burns and tears

With their leatherlike hands

We mean

Mother mom ma mommy mama mami

Give birth to the earth daily

Transport the moon and stars on their backs

Work like hungry ancestors in orange fields 

Smuggle their invisible dreams in swollen ankles

Sing blue songs that hang trees, double-dutch the breeze

And capture the motherland in a sneeze

We mean

Our mothers

Build and create and create and build


Like civilizations and imaginations and love

Even when they get no love themselves

We mean

Our mothers

Are spirit and energy brushing buckets of paint

Beneath our feet

Means our mothers

Are magicians

Here even when they are not

Here even when they are not

Here even when they are not

Thursday, May 6, 2021, 10:30 am

© 2022 Kevin Powell.

Kevin Powell is a poet, journalist, civil and human rights activist, filmmaker, and author of 14 books. His 15th will be a new collection of poetry, Grocery Shopping With My Mother, coming in December from Soft Skull Press/Penguin Random House.


  1. Thank you! Mothers are so special! Love your work! You make this elder happy.mad. sad, thoughtful…wow are you awesome. Again,thank you!

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