I Was Made To Love Her: A Black Father’s Celebration Of Women’s History Month

By TABARI Z. BOMANI

For the SHEs and Hers of my life—past, present and future—I offer this, simply and with love. Happy Women’s History Month.

“I WAS MADE TO LOVE HER”

She steals my breath
But it’s ok for I need only her look to fill my lungs
Her kiss to quicken my heart.
She moves in me
Creates tremors on my skin
Awakens parts in me I only a second ago believed had died.
Although I try to deny it
She rises in me like the sun
And sets heavily in my soul like the moon.

I began with Her
Crawled out and sought nourishment at her breast.
The other
Born first
Taught me all that I didn’t know
And then let me shine with the knowledge
And stood back
Pleased with her creation.

And then I found her sister friends
They taught me how sweet their skin could taste
Let me hear the music of their movement
Taught me to cry
Laugh
And dream.

In my foolish youth,
When I spurned them with my arrogance,
They gave me the gift of forgiveness
And taught me how to be a man.

Then, I found them.
My wayward sisters and daughters
Struggling against a sea of discontent
They reached for me and called me teacher, friend and father.
I offered them what little I had
Promised them a place in my heart
And they taught me to be a better father.

Finally, when Allah felt I had learned enough
They came forth.
The small ones whose eyes search me out.
The small ones whose hands fit so comfortably in mine.
They made my soul weep
And give me
Once again
Life.

Now
In the fall of my rising
I sit at my first love’s feet
I offer her oil and comfort
She gives me guidance and love.
And I her harvest
I tell her that the prophet speaks of paradise at her feet
And she smiles and hopes it there when she is too tired to be tired.
She is all of them.

I adore women.
The smell, tough, laughter, wisdom, softness, danger, comfort and light of women. I could sit quietly at their feet and feast off of all that give.
I would be happy
From the shadows
Quietly building monuments to glorify all that they’ve done
And all that we sad men have chosen to forget.

Tabari Z. Bomani is a teacher and Dean at an alternative school in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a writer and lecturer who is working on a book of poetry and political essays. The former African Studies professor lives in Long Island with his wife and young daughters.
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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.

4 Comments

  1. Very powerful!

  2. Cecilia M. Donovan

    Brother Tabari is truly one of a kind. He loves our women as he writes and the more we raise our young boys to love appreciate their beauty so can they love and honor their mothers, sisters, wives and all Hers. I’m grateful to recall how gentle and firm his mother was with him. I better understood my mom through those encounters. When we are loved, we can give love. This poem is a treasure. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. I am not surprised by the sentiments expressed…especially since he is my brother (lol), and Clarence and Francine’s baby boy..He was raised by a strong Southern Grandma who endured the meaness of the segregrated South only to come North and have to suffer the indignity of having to work as a domestic; and a whole host of Aunts who had to hold their families together “by hook and by crook” oftentimes without much thanks or any recognition of their beauty…so, thank-you Bro..from me, from ma, from Grandma Nomie Dell, from Aunt’s Carline, Linda, Vivian, and Hattie;all your Hart Aunts, female cousins, sister friends, students..and most importantly your Daughters Anisa and Anaya

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