I am a daughter to many mothers.
At the highest point of my heart is the one who placed a name, so gently, on my tiny, tender chest, that rose and fell with the tiny, timeless breaths, as she stood by a cot, staring at the thing she had created, with the might of her feminine form.
As I grew, I grasped that there were many women who could adore me in an eternal, unconditional way that surpassed the power of romance or friendship, and as I searched the world for a desire I could not yet understand, I was guided by the kind, consequential hands of many mothers.
My own, the first, humble in my home town, never able to recognise her power, and the power that she had planted underneath my skin when we shared nine glorious months in each other’s company. I learned to be a woman from her, and from her mother. Icons of ambition that cast a cool shadow across me, giving relief from the constant callous lights of life.
I found another, when I tripped and fell into time and space. Our skins had a similar shimmer, and I knew she was something to do with me. That ol’ black girl magic, bewitching and bold. Bricks at the pigs as the sun hid in shame on the corner of Christopher Street. I looked at her, for years and for centuries, seeing the same image that had manifested in my mirror during those troubling first months of puberty.
One more, making her way to me from the movies. Over the rainbow and over the edge, where my fingers clung to the crumbling remains of my restful unawareness. As I spent so long asking what was wrong with me, she just sang softly to my soul as I slept among poppies and popular characters, dreaming of a time when the demon that lived inside of me would feel more like a friend.
Loved and lauded, I still return to the first, sobbing on a voice note about my secret, from miles away, because as I tell her the truth, I cannot face her. Her face is pure, unparalleled love, and though her arms are miles away, I feel the embrace of my mother and the power that she has always had.
I am a daughter to many mothers. A child of war and a child of peace. I am a recipe that has been crafted and perfected by generations of Liverpool’s ladies, the songbird from New Orleans and the little girl that got lost in Oz.
I am ready, now.