nicole lourette

Cotton Pickin' Mind


My mother never picked cotton.
She never knew the bite
of an already bloody whip on
her sun-scorched skin,
black—from God and years of use.
She was whipped plenty,
her momma preferred
an electrical cord dangling
as if alive
in one hand,
half empty bottle of vodka
in the other.

My mother never knew
the crazy that came from
bending over prickly bushes
Her fingers never scarred
with wispy threads
of raw leaves.
She claimed to have Princess Feet,
always soft and lotioned.

My mother was never driven
by a slaver.
Never forced to fall
in yield to his pursuit,
open her legs in silence,
remain silent.
And yet,
I am driving her out of
her cotton pickin’ mind.

As of 2015: Nicole Lourette is a Pittsburgh based poet and travel writer originally from Rochester, NY. A recent graduate of Chatham University’s MFA program, her writing focuses on the complexities of the black female body and what it means to be multiracial. Her work has been published in Vagabond City Literary Journal.

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