P / P Poetry: Not All Heroes Wear Capes

Written By: Meccamorphosis

Editor’s Note: Last year, Ms. Meccamorphosis (Mecca Verdell) leaned over to me while sitting at a nearby table at a coffee shop and quietly asked if she could get my thoughts on an idea she was working on. I had just finished an interview for an article and my interviewee had just walked away from my table. I told her I would do my best to answer her question. She said to me, “If you could think of the seven layers of hell for a Black woman, what would they be?” She was doing a piece similar to Dante’s Inferno on the reality of the Black woman. I rattled off my seven layers the best I could, and the rest is history. 

That summer Mecca went on to win the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam  and will soon be competing for Baltimore’s Youth Poet Laureate. I am in awe of Mecca, I’m a big fan and wanted to share her poem, Not All Heroes Wear Capes. -je

Not All Heroes Wear Capes

Not all heroes wear capes
Some wear nooses,
Loosened, but ready
To drag dead weight
Hanging behind them
My mom carried enough
To sound like rattles
For her loss babies
so they would quiet down in her past.
That’s why she won’t sit down
Like she keeps pushing herself
Waiting for babies still
To be born.
Or for the 3 that made it
To live for them.
She takes care of all of us.
Feeds us soul food.
Feeds them lost babies her soul.
She’s sorry, she gave up.
That their dad beat her to it.
That every attempt to leave was a missed carriage back home.
It’s been years, but my siblings traveled with her
It’s been years.
And I was born with all the anger she should’ve had
For my father and theirs.
But she wanted to keep
The family together
There was no family and
I hated her for it.
Now I think of all the children
That could’ve had my place
Should’ve had my place
Felt her warmth.
Eased her pain
Lift her weight not add.
Not all sacrifices are holy
Just have a enough holes
inside to hide it all in.


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