Tuesday, September 27, 2011
"Until I come to you"
Motherhood by Georgia Douglas Johnson
Don't knock on my door, little child,
I cannot let you in;
You know not what a world this is
Of cruelty and sin.
Wait in the still eternity
Until I come to you.
The world is cruel, cruel, child,
I cannot let you through.
Don't knock at my heart, little one,
I cannot bear the pain
Of turning deaf ears to your call,
Time and time again.
You do not know the monster men
Inhabiting the earth.
Be still, be still, my precious child,
I cannot give you birth.
From The Crisis (October 1922)
Georgia Douglas Johnson was a black poet and writer who was among the first female poets to gain recognition during the Harlem Renaissance. She was often criticized for not addressing race in her poetry however, much of her writing spoke to issues unique to women's experience.
Motherhood spoke to me in so many ways. Its about choosing motherhood and wanting to bring children into a world that is safe and kind. Based on history we know that the world was less than a safe or kind place for a black woman in the 1920s.
Women who have abortions are mothers. We are mothers of 1 or 7. We are future mothers. We are aunties who raise other people's children but never birth our own. We are women who want to come to motherhood by choice and when we know we can create a world that is as safe and kind as possible to our children. And sometimes we aren't mothers.