Silver Linings and the Tale of the Faux Mom

The silver lining.
All too clearly I recall the day
She taught me to look for it –
My faux mother.

I’d been there for weeks it seemed.
Would they never take me home?

“I go outside to see Mommy now.”
I told her.


“I go see Mommy now, outside.”

“Your Mommy’s not out there.
I’m your Mommy now.”

“You can be my second Mommy,” I said.
“I go see Mommy now.”

My mother was out there.
She’d been visiting me each day
Since she’d died.
Murdered, you see, but a mother nonetheless.

I was just three,
Standing there in the hot
Houston kitchen
Of my captors.

“Honey, your Mama is dead.”
I didn’t know what that meant.
“She’s with Jesus now.”
I didn’t know who that was.
“You can never see her again.”

The truth of that statement
Hit me like an arrow.
I died in that moment.
Fell to my knees
Lost, crying,
Realizing I never again
Would be held
Or loved.

Only fed
And clothed
And eventually sold.

“Make the best of it, honey,”
She demanded.
“Look for the silver lining.”

She cautioned me to stop crying,
For the faux Daddy might kill me.

It took me years to find that cloud.

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