Aimea Saul -- Uncharted Motherland


part of: Poetry

by Nathalie Molina Niño

Mine is a matriarchal family,
inside that seed implanted in me
live the Woorani, the Mosuo, the mother,
a woman, a goddess
my uterine ancestry, my Cherokee blood
my little bit of ancient Egypt,
and Kurichiyas spices from Kerala,
my Nubian shadow dancing alongside a hidden Hopi spirit.
My nomadic Tuareg tendencies come from that seed,
and the roots that cling to me, no matter how far I run
are those Sumerian bloodlines,
urging me to write, to express, to reach

A matriarchy without the matriarch
the looming inevitability unfolds in front of me
all roads, winding and painstakingly built
eventually lead to the same unfolding.

A matriarchy without the matriarch
we gather and place our conflicts there
where she cannot see them, behind the feigned
smiles, the familial politeness, and the sensation of
impending implosion.

A matriarchy without the matriarch
she was shelter and she was nourishment
flora and fauna, fire and liquid,
welcome and unwelcome, conflict unresolved.

A matriarchy without the matriarch
the tears are absent, the voice is strong
just as she would have wanted, would have insisted
the power is in the fierceness, the violence
is in the voice.

A matriarchy without the matriarch
the long line of ill-tempered, late night card playing elders
will end with you, the lullabies from my infancy,
the dresses sewn at all hours of insomniac nights.

A matriarchy without the matriarch
a ship gliding over nothing, and I am rushing to be still
singing a song of tears without weeping, floating through
silent screams and death without dying.