My mother walks to the kitchen barefoot,
with her hair wrapped and smelling of cocoa butter.
It is always in the morning, when I admire her;
Years of unwed life can change a person.
Like how she doesn’t cook breakfast for anyone but herself.
Cook your own food, she says;
and she doesn’t style her hair some days
with no one to scold her for it.
She is self-governed and no longer confined in a man’s world.
As I walk through the door with my Jimmy Choo heels,
I realize I am nothing like my mother.
A contoured face and crimson lips stare at her silk gown
while she cooks; grease and eggs sizzle in the pan,
and I cringe.
My mother never backs away from the skillet.
Specks of cocoa drops on her arms show years of cooking,
while my undisturbed skin says, amateur.
As my mother sways her hips to the rhythm and blues
humming from the television, I picture her as a young girl.
A dissident in the ’70s, sprawled out on the couch with her shades
blocking out anyone who tries to speak to her.
Red streaks of color running through her hair while my grandmother
strokes it gently, as my mother bobs her head to Michael Jackson.
Lay back and groove with mine, you gotta feel that heat.
My mother’s sultry voice fills my head, and I smile as I realize...
I am just like my mother.