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In 2009 I started my blog “Inventing Her” as a platform to share (mostly with myself, family, and friends) my writing, rants, and journeys as a queer, transracially adopted woman of color. Three years later, it’s time for a change (cue Beyoncé’s “Upgrade U” here) so I will now be ranting and sharing my work on this new site. In order to kick things off, I thought it would be appropriate to share the poem that inspired my blogging career in the first place. Thanks for visiting and enjoy! More soon.




inventing her

first you have to gather your mother’s shadows
perhaps they are buried in the garden
or tangled in the shower drain
my mother keeps hers in a big cedar chest
at the end of her king-sized bed
when i stuck my hand inside
i felt the acrid electricity of dreams postponed
smelled the brine of a sleeping woman
and Iipulled on the grey thread of her
until i had enough to make something new

then you have to spin your mother’s shadows
into something wild
something that will brave all weather
and endure history
you have to remember what storms
have been left still hungry
then weave in the nourishment
of ancestor bone and spirit
until you have shelter
to last

and still this will not be enough
still you will crawl into the night
with lovers who offer you water
but cannot quell your womb
for deserts and deserts
you will remain parched
and the sun will feel like an anvil
bearing down on your hope
until, oh sweet purple of dusk
of mirth and blood-games

you will dance

with all your lovely faces
with your rain and laughter
your hunger and caution
you will dance her out of you
trembling and tepid
a madwoman
will rise up from the ash of her own
and begin to craft the dawn anew

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One response to “New site, Beyoncé, and the poem that started it all”

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Mariama J. Lockington has over thirteen years of experience working as a K-12 educator in the nonprofit sector and currently works for the University of Kentucky’s College of Education. She enjoys teaching hands-on writing workshops and speaking with young people about their stories. Learn More