Friday, January 16, 2009


(This is a piece I wrote in response to a "quick write" assignment in the kickin' online writing class that I am taking under the tutelage of one of my all time favorite editors and writers Aerial Gore. I am working on getting the first six or seven chapters of my Mama C Single Mother/Adoption/Conception memoir mapped out during this course. So far the writing is going exceptionally well, and the feedback has been wildly encouraging. Stay tuned...)

It is the shape of Africa smoothed over one too many times by a rolling pin. It is not a tattoo, but a birthmark on Sam's right temple. He doesn't see it, but the world does. If I have anything to do with it, he'll incorporate into his identity as a source of pride, and not a undesirable splotch of pigment. It is from his birthmother, and for that I imagine he will feel grateful and proud if I continue to do my adoptive mother job right. The herniated belly button that was the result of shoddy workmanship on the part of the delivery doc, most likely noting the medicaid arm band on his birth mother, and the color of the child's skin as reason not to worry, to hurry through this one. His pediatrician now tells me we can fix it, so it doesn't stick out so much if kids start to tease Sam about it looking like that. I figure he'll be picked on for being black, when I'm not, and fatherless, and adopted, but not for that belly button. He'll just turn the other cheek, let his African tattoo catch his would be tormentor's eye and close his gym locker door with a little more power than usual this time.


Anonymous said...

What the hen? How did I not know about this blog!

Here I am though, and none too soon...

tia said...

hey sister c
i was right there with sammy at his locker, sad and also feeling the power in him: his dignity, his awareness not only of himself but of his personal story within history t