My Mother’s Garden Her name is the space between home and homebound.

Like morning she rises,
full of light
she rewrites the sunrise each day.

Her name is the space
between home and homebound.
She is my favourite place.

Smelling of sweet breezes, fresh earth, ink, and spices
she is a glass deliciously full, your favourite song with just the right rhythm,
a new pair of dancing shoes with just enough room to grow into.

She carries herself with a special kind of optimism
Tending to her garden with the hope that each year new buds will come back.
Collecting seeds with the promise of new growth.

We are of the same garden.
She planted her roots in me, teaching me how to blossom.
Gardens have seasons, yet she is always in full bloom.

In a word she is perennial–permanent,
unceasing her in love.
Dance Mama like the flowers are singing for you.

Nia McAllister is a Bay Area born poet, writer, and environmental justice advocate working at the intersection of art, activism, and public engagement. As Senior Public Programs Manager at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, she creates participatory spaces for creative expression and literary dialogue. Nia’s writing and poetry have been featured on the Poets of Colour Podcast and published in Radicle magazine, Meridians journal, and Painting the Streets: Oakland Uprising in the Time of Rebellion (Nomadic Press, 2022).

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