Cover Photo: Passing by Linda Chavers


a piece in process

        I liked Beyonce’s Lemonade. I found Formation to be better than the whole album but hey, opinions and cents. I’d have probably liked it more if I’d have cut it off before the mothers talk, the grandmothers. I bristle at that “grandma’s hands” talk. Maybe I should start a hashtag #notallgrandmothers. No I shouldn’t.

When I was in high school my mom brought home a client. A clients daughter, rather. She was 2 and adorable. The color of dark chocolate soufflé with a face begging to be squeezed. We played with little toy cards and then I took out our camera and took her picture.

Flash. Tears.

That wouldn’t stop. My mom ran into the room asking what happened. I said all I did was take her picture. The baby was nearly hyperventilating and refused to let me or my mother hold her.

My mother lowered her eyes at my explanation. “What, what?!” I asked.

She exhaled, “we think her mother sold her for drugs.”

I blinked expectantly. I’d heard these stories before.

“ a child pornography ring.”

I wanted to find the baby’s mother and bash her head in with the camera. I immediately dropped it to the floor – I’d been gripping it in one hand the whole time, including when I’d tried to hug the baby girl – and made sure the baby saw me do it. While she watched, I stood up and jumped on the camera and then kicked it.

“Im sorry, im so sorry,” I started to smell something rancid and we realized she’d wet herself in her fit. My mother carried her off, she was still whimpering. She did not look at me.

This is what I think of when I hear tales of mothers and passing down.

Essays. Memoir. Musings. Pajamas.