I know you think you’ve been raised
‘Cause you grown now
But a mama always got to wonder
What else can I say to my child who is black?
I know what you’re thinking
She’s been talking my whole life.
It’ s time to let well enough alone,
to trust me,
to let me be.
But you know your mama
and I couldn’t rest,
not even with the Lord hisself,
if I thought I left my task unfinished,
or even one word unsaid.
Did I tell you that no matter how hard the journey
or how tough the task
It’s OK to get weary,
but you ain’t walkin’ this walk alone
You always got my footprints to guide you
‘Cause I’ve been down this road before
Now, I know your feet ain’t mine
And we can’t step into the same shoes
And I know, too, you’re gonna find your own way
All I’m saying is
you ain’t by yourself.
Have I told you I’m sorry
‘Cause I wasn’t always the one
Who lifted you when you fell
or helped you when you hurt?
But sometimes making that way out of no way
just took all I had
Every once in a while
I had to leave the mothering to God’s own guardian angels,
them other mamas…
and the nannies
But you know you was loved, and, child, I’ll always be your mama
Child, I’ve been granny to yours,
mama to mine,
mammy to theirs,
and Mrs. to my man
But I never stopped being my own woman
I got feet that been trampled
and blisters on my blisters
But I can still kick up the dust,
walk a mean high-heel strut
And cross my legs with the uppitiest of women on a first Sunday morning.
Child, no matter how tough things get,
and they gonna get mighty tough,
you got to keep going
You ain’t gonna make it stopping short or standing still
Sometimes being in this world is so tough
You’re gonna feel like you’re trying to dance on quicksand
Or catch up to the moon.
Trouble’s always coming
And you can’t stop it
No more than you can sweep up the ocean with a raggedy old broom
But you gonna make it
The Father above told me it would be true
‘Sides, I wouldn’t be looking for nothing less
‘Cause I’m expectin’ at least that much outta you
Written by Lorraine Johnson-Coleman and dedicated to four little ones she couldn’t afford to buy birthday presents that year. (I can honestly say that this is way better than an Easy Bake Oven.)