Written by Tramaine 
     Illustrated by Diana Eusebio 

     Est. Reading Time: 1 min 


yes maama, i’m coming maama,
can you finally listen, maama?

maama, how do you begin to heal if you do not accept that you are broken?
how do you resurrect your soul if you do not acknowledge it is dying?
i cannot exorcise my depression, i cannot rebuke my anxiety.

yes maama, mine.
this is my inheritance, don’t you see?
you gave me this cross, don’t you see?

they crawled into the blood of your maama before you.
maama, you need to say it with me, we have suffered through and through.
i was borne of polygamous grandfathers, abusive uncles: patriarchy, maama.

our skin melted from bronze to chocolate,
our hands molded to tether wandering fathers,
our hearts mired by unfulfilled promises.

no maama, i’m not coming maama,
can you finally respond, maama?

maama continued

maama says i have become lost, grown distant to her.
as if i became a runaway from the womb just yesterday.

maama says her spirit is troubled, senses that i am
entrenched in heavy warfare against myself.
as if self-destruction does not bleed down the
family tree.

maama says i am losing my faith, that it is waning.
as if the sun’s shadow affects the wholeness of
the moon.

maama and God

dear God,

what am i supposed to do with a mother
that does not want to touch my anxiety,
that does not want to hold my depression?

what am i supposed to do when my mother
asks you about my troubles before she asks me?

what am i supposed to do when the more
i love myself the less she loves me?

maama concluded

we poured
our hurts out,
rolled up our sleeves,
and built a 
b r i d g e.

found a spot healed enough for the two of us.
muddled our words and fumbled our apologies.
and yet, they bled together and sealed the cracks.

we sat slow, sat still.

we finally exhaled.
she called me into her arms.
she held me until all the years,
                            all the tears,
melted away.

“do you know that i love you?”
“do you feel that i love you?”
“do you forgive me kakazi?”
“yes maama.”


Published October 17, 2020
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Author’s Bio
Tramaine is a Ugandan-American who has found home in six different cities in three countries. She speaks four languages and most recently served as an English teacher. She is passionate about all things water and womanism.
︎ @poemsbytramaine

Artist’s Bio
Diana Eusebio is a photographer, designer and editorial storyteller originally from Miami. Her work encompasses a wide range of practices such as fashion, design, creative direction, photography and editorial writing. As an Afro-Latina working within the media and creative industries, Eusebio’s goal is to translate misrepresented stories into visual content that challenges society’s constructed perceptions of identity and intersectionality.
︎ @Diana.Tiene.Tumbao  ︎DianaEusebio.com


︎Philadelphia, PA
Plantin Magazine ©2020