Photograph by Carla Ciuffo

October 2016

by Nina Donovan

Nina Donovan is a graduate of Franklin High School and presently attends Columbia State Community College. She competed in Philadelphia and Atlanta as part of the Nashville area youth slam team and performs regularly with Southern Word. Learn more at www.southernword.org


She woke up like dis….
She woke up like dis….
She woke up like dis FLAWLESS.
My mother
is flawless.
When people say an ugly Puerto Rican does not exist,
they use her photo as further proof.
My mother
is a howler monkey:
the second loudest animal on Earth.
My mother holds grudges like I hold books,
and I’m lucky I don’t read
because I’ve heard her heart scream with pulled muscles and
twisted ankles chasing after my recovery.
My mother
has climbed mountains to find my courage to breathe.
is a Ford Fiesta
driving reason back into my irrational teenage mind.
An angel,
who never thinks twice before lending me her wings
when my sins nail my feet to ground.
She’s heavenly.
A holy masterpiece of watercolor dripping hope
into the cracks of my spine.
If you pressed her rose palms to canvas and watched her fingerprints dry I swear,
they would spell out beautiful.

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