Saturday Mournings by Jessica Holter

Saturday Mournings by Jessica Holter

Jessica Holter Adult Foster Child


Saturday Mournings

Audio Recording (Live)

Those Saturday mournings

I pushed my bed

Away from the wall

Hoping my sister would not hear

Hoping my foster Momma would not hear

Hoping the old wood would 

Not squeak or crackle too loud

and tell of my desire

Tell of my weakness

Tell of a little girl’s dream

To see her Mother

Tell of a Black girl’s longing

for White arms to be intertwined 

with Black ones

Tell of brown eyes’

need to see hazel Irish ones

Tell of the truth

of how I could 

Love You Mother

Still need you Mother

Even after

the give-away

the living away

the way irony played in your manic rage

on a Berkeley street

The day you said you needed

to find her

She, not me?

offering in my palm 

my whole 

Black heart

but she, the daughter you never saw

but needed, no less

The words still echo in my head

Replay each day


wants this

Little girl? 

Drunken Toes

Tap, tap, tapping

Desperado’s cadence

on run-over thongs


Who wants this little girl? 

Wrist burns

under drunken grip

“The trick,” 

my sister said

“Is to stand the pain”

Twisting my wrist skin

In a game of Indian Chief

“When you can’t stand no more, you lose! 

So you’ve got to howl like

an Indian, cuz you lost! ”

Child games flashing in my mind

but there is no time 

to be a child again

and anymore

But maybe not forever

And there is no howl escaping my lips

Only the train

screamiiiing for me

And I want to be 

on that caboose and go aaaaawayyyy

A lone Panthress

like the poster picture

fuzzy beneath my finger

on the basement wall

at foster home

opens Black bosom to me

“I’ll take her. I’ll take your Little Girl”

No howl escapes my lips

The fire of your red hair burns my eyes

as you slip into a sea

of people and traffic

and your battle dress jacket

slips into loud stares

of onlookers 

The train howls our pain

Saturday mornings

I loved 

the loving

to see you


Cried dry tears

when you did not show

pushed my bed

back to the window

My sister 

and I 

played Indian Chief

until pain was


a game...

and I 

could be a child again

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