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Valloton, Felix (1865 – 1925) – 1911 Seated Black Woman, Front View (Private Collection)

MAMA

Because Mama cannot hear   and because she talks nonsense everytime she opens her mouth  Everyone avoids her   Everyone includes my children and me   Mama lives with us

Because Grandpa   Grandma   Unky and Aunty are dead   and because Mama has no whys and wherefores in life   she’s lonely   very lonely

Grandpa   Grandma   Unky and Aunty loved Mama   They would have taken time to listen to her   when she babbles nonsense they would have understood

Because they’re dead   Mama is left with children who are burdened by her presence   Children   she loves and for whom she would still sacrifice her life

My brothers   Fritz and Serge   visit every Saturday   Fritz brings drinks and Serge fruits   But because they’re busy men   they visit in a hurry

Joseph   the oldest   used to visit and stay a long time   He used to take Mama to Pinelawn
to our sister’s grave   He doesn’t do this anymore

It’s something about inheritance   Mama didn’t give him the piece of property he wanted
Because Mama is lonely…

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Suze Baron

Suze Baron is Haitian-American. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

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