We Each Powerin’ a Loop, Formin’ Whatever Got Our Vote


Sittin’ here thinkin’ on how I done just had the joy
of cheerin’ another mother’s high school son
durin’ a weekend of crewin’ fiends testin’ their real McCoy
skill while the hot sun toastin’ head and bun
o’ all the rowers, cheerleadin’ and birdy-duck
types present. We all’s feelin’ like more than luck
brought us to be pourin’ sweat n’ emotion into whatever role
we occupyin’. For three days we all together align-
in’ heart ‘n mind to be or see a sleek crew boat
powerin’ some talent we nurturin’ all careful-like across a line.
We each powerin’ a loop, formin’ whatever got our vote

I gotta say here, there be a knowin’ no one cheer a girl or boy
like a parent does. Even if be you a guest cheerin’ one
you love, you compare like tofu, or that there soy-
bean chicken stuff they be feedin’ vege-arians – or a nun
wearin’ her black-white habit at a Grammy Award muckity-muck.
An let me tell you, our kids, they knows what cheerleadin’ duct
carry the full power of a father or mother’s love n’ soul.
Don’t you ever worry someone else be taking up a sign
n’ cheerin’ your Bobby could put on a coat
n’ take your place when he scanning a crowded finish line.
We each powerin’ a loop, formin’ whatever got our vote

This whole eventin’ weekend bring up somethin’ all coy
n’ unexpected that had me do such an emotin’ twist-on
n’ off it required a sit down ‘n anna-bittical look usin’ a ploy
to untangle somethin’ I didn’t even know be feedin’ me un-fun
feelin’s. I be reverse-engineerin’ why I feel like somethin’ just suck
when it come to me I done spent a whole lot a ‘sittin-duck
time at my man-child’s history-finish-lines bein’ his single-mom-whole
cheerin’ team. N’ as I excavatin’ why on earth I of a mind
to be to be all teary n’ swallowin’ on some peanutbutter throat
I’s shock myself discoverin’ I believe somethin’ unfit for even a swine!
We each powerin’ a loop, formin’ whatever got our vote

Now, I know I not alone when I say I be a parent employ-
in’ some funny practices on my way to bein’ the parent-sun
my man-child gotta rely on to rise him up to his full god-son-boy-
to-man I KNOW he meant to be since countin’ his toes for fun.
When mine was little ‘n runnin’ track, I be in the stands plucked
hangnail gnawin’ while he standin’ at the start block, little body tucked
ready to fire off ‘roun’ his lane. I’s stand there n’ imagine coal
firein’ up to power his heart sittin’ in a skinny body’s bony ribcage line.
It was me spendin’ each race closin’ my eyes, breathin deep n’ slow, float-
in’ all my mother-power straight into his 10-year-old heartline.
We each powerin’ a loop, formin’ whatever got our vote

I do that breathin’ n’ imagining my big heart feedin’ his hard-run-
in’ body pure oxygen while he runnin’ n’ breathin’ his gun-
shot initiated heart-mind-body like he a baby giraffe, done
intendin’ to breathe up a world o’ air before he finally stuck
his feet to the finish line. N’ when he get there and we’s conduct-
ed our awesome race like the team we are, we be at the goal
but I be standin’ by myself. N’ what I discover yesterday was all mis-align
is my belief I will always be standing all alone-goat
at finish lines. That done make me cry like someone shredded me fine.
We each powerin’ a loop, formin’ whatever got our vote

So I’s be turnin’ around that limitin’ belief right now, ’cause I got spine
n’ it deserve my chosin’ a better thought powerin’ my future’s thought-shrine.
My man-child tell me yesterday t’ never forget I always be the Queen-promote
he happy to know powerin’ n’ rulin’ a world cheerin’ ALL his future finish-lines.
We each powerin’ a loop, formin’ whatever got our vote

© Lori Fleming, 2014



This piece went to Meeting the Bar at dVerse, to connect with a gentleman named Tony who served up the prompt— “Repetition”.  Click the link to read entries, and have a shot.


26 thoughts on “We Each Powerin’ a Loop, Formin’ Whatever Got Our Vote

  1. kebert17

    Ya got’cher multiple Universes right der, chil’. Th breadth and depth you portray in y’all’s verse reveal it all to me and them, yo. Walk on and sing, m’lady. I all like noddin’ my head in the affirmation and stuff like that.

  2. brian miller

    smiling at your son calling you the queen…and i have never seen crewing live…i imagine it pretty cool…anytime you have a kid in the fight though…it can get a bit crazy cheering on…def you capture a bit of the excitement and feeling….

  3. claudia

    smiles… it’s cool to cheer our loved ones on and help them cross those finishing lines… it’s good when someone believes we can do it…nice

  4. Victoria C. Slotto

    My first visit to your work, too, and so fun. Your voice is so good in this I felt like I was “down there” somewhere South. Great images and you manage whipping up our enthusiasm. We’re all cheering!

  5. Sherry Blue Sky

    Oh you sang that song right to me, another battle-scarred weary single mom – and you know what? they still need us to cheer them along even when they’re in their 40’s……….love the strength and grit and celebration in this poem.

  6. Glenn Buttkus

    I have never bumped into a poetic voice like yours, and it does fascinate me; hard to tell where the poetic persona ends & the poet exists; but your style is consistent–the use of the vernacular gives it, all of it, a tremendous immediacy, and a startling sense of place; like we sat down with a country singer & poet & talked you into spinning a yarn; so cool.

    1. bridge2vision Post author

      I have to say it seems you just described something about me in a way that helps even me understand who I am and how I communicate in and through our poetic journey.

  7. Bryan Ens

    Forgot to mention that I really appreciated the passion and emotion in the video. Shows that this was close to your heart… And poetry doesn’t get any better than that!

  8. http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com

    The epitome of mother love, even when you were cheering some other mother’s son.
    My grandson has just started rowing, and our poem took me to the river bank to cheer him on.
    I loved the way the argot gave the poem life and movement, helped along by the enjambment.

  9. Sharp Little Pencil

    First time here, thanks to dverse. Your voice, both poetic and on the video, startling for a fellow white woman. Sometimes lapses into Southern Belle gone her own way, other times there is a touch of Black America in your poems. There is a uniting, sacrificing, strong soul behind this work.

    I am happy you visited my blog and hope we meet again soon at the prompts! Peace, you feisty one! Amy


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