A Single Mother’s Prayer
Please God, give me strength. Strength to cope when my little one is sick and I have no one to take her to the doctor but me, no one to nurse her to health but me, no one to cook her meals but me and no one to bathe and hold her but me.
Please God give me strength when I have no one to hold me, care for me, nurse me back to health, cook me meals, bathe me and take care of my little one when I am sick physically and emotionally but me.
Please God give me strength when I have no one to help with bills, daycare fees, food, pampers, baby wipes, baby toiletries, nasal sprays, prescriptions, humidifiers, toys, fun outings but me.
Please God give me strength when I have no one to work and bring income into the house but me.
Please God give me strength when I have no one to clean, cook, run after, play with and make the million and one decisions that comes with being a parent but me.
Please God give me strength.
He won. That’s right dammit. I mean, when I heard that he won, I was like what? Cause even in my woke-closed mind, I thought that Pulitzer Prize winners are don’t look, talk or act like anything like me. Some obscure genius whose name is mostly known by Jeopardy award contestants.
But as I watched the news strictly for weather purposes, I see Kendrick Lamar’s face cross the screen as a Pulitzer Prize winner. Wow! I mean, I can’t help but lose my mind when DNA comes on. That song is everything:
“See, you’s a, you’s a, you’s a
Bitch, your hormones prolly switch inside your DNA
Problem is, all that sucker shit inside your DNA
Daddy prolly snitched, heritage inside your DNA
Backbone don’t exist, born outside a jellyfish, I gauge
See, my pedigree most definitely don’t tolerate the front
Shit I’ve been through prolly offend you
This is Paula’s oldest son
I know murder, conviction
Burners, boosters, burglars, ballers, dead, redemption
Scholars, fathers dead with kids
And I wish I was fed forgiveness
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, soldier’s DNA
Born inside the beast
My expertise checked out in second grade
When I was 9, on cell, motel, we didn’t have nowhere to stay
At 29, I’ve done so well, hit cartwheel in my estate
And I’m gon’ shine like I’m supposed to
And excellent mean the extra work
And absentness what the fuck you heard
And pessimists never struck my nerve
And that’s a riff, gonna plead this case
The reason my power’s here on earth
Salute the truth, when the prophet say”
Oh man! Gets me going every time I hear it. Past winners:
Of Reminiscences and Reflections, by Gunther Schuller
Symphony No. 2 for String Orchestra, by John Corigliano (G. Schirmer)
Violin Concerto, by Jennifer Higdon (Lawdon Press)
Become Ocean, by John Luther Adams (Taiga Press/Theodore Front Musical Literature)
Angel’s Bone, by Du Yun
See the full list here: http://www.pulitzer.org/prize-winners-by-category/225
Never heard of any of them. But does that make me uncultured?
I harken back to a Good Times episode when Michael scored low on an IQ test because all the questions were not geared towards kids like him. He refused to even finish the test. In explaining to his parents, he gave an example:
After being incensed with Michael, Flo and James agree and flip the tables on school officials. They bring an IQ test that is geared towards people like them to Mr. Hargrove at Michael’s school. He is in charge of everything statistical and thought Michael should go to trade school since he supposedly failed the IQ test. When presented with the questions from the Black Intelligence Test, he fails! One question: What was Malcolm X’s last name? “Is it Little, Jones, Fallon or Brown,” says Florida. Mr. Hargrove incorrectly answers Jones and Florida sarcastically tells him Malcom’s last name is Little. “You just missed a question on an IQ test” says Florida, to the man only moments earlier who boasted his 178 IQ score. That was in 1974.
Now what of the person who has never heard “Damn.” By Kendrick Lamar? 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Music. Are they uncultured? The scales are still unbalanced but they’re tipping closer and closer to equilibrium every day.