Minerve Jean

Poems

INGREDIENTS

Ingredients 

 

Orange blossom honey

                              resilience

finely ground cocoa

                strength

spicy nutmeg

                coconut oil

pride

        endurance

        whipped shea butter

midnight coils

     beauty

      Madagascar vanilla

love

      perseverance

joy

        this

                   is what melanin

         is made of.

*

 

GENERATIONS

This body is not yours.

It never was.

 

It is your mother's.

You have her hips,

the very ones that cracked open

to give birth to a girl

with many generations

intermingled in her newborn cries.

 

​It is your grandmother's.

You have her full lips,

the soft pressure that kissed away

the tears staining your cheeks.

 

You’ve never known your great-grandmother,

but have met her eyes every morning

in the mirror,

and when you go through old photographs

and find her picture,

you notice that the only difference

between your face and hers

is the fatigue her brown eyes contained,

and you briefly wonder

if you’ll inherit her bags later in life too.

The legs of your aunt are dry with burns and scars

that tell a story of survival;

no amount of shea butter and marula oil

will ever smooth away the marks of her pain.

You have your sister’s hands

small

dainty

assumed to have never bled like the hands of the women

who broke from the coffins

they were forced to lie in.

When there are days when you don’t love yourself,

from your mother’s hips to your grandmother’s eyes,

remember

that these women are a part of you,

living in you.

 

Cherish them,

cherish yourself

always.

***

 

Minerve Jean is a Haitian-born storyteller who shares her poetry and writings unapologetically. She believes in the power of words and their ability to help and heal. Her debut book For The Secrets That Gave Themselves Away is an anthology of raw poetry where she uses words to paint pictures that will resonate with the human soul. She has also contributed pieces to Hercampus, Orange and Blue Magazine and MLNNYC. In her free time, she likes to snack on Avocado toast and curl up with a good book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2019 by MJ Fievre