“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, until seventy times seven.”
Matthew 18:21-22 KJV
Praise those mothers who when naming their sons
did not know they would be laid to rest
in the nation of our black tongues
It is to these Women
Praise the cheekbones grated free by city curbs
n’ the innocence seeping into the rear floors
of those 4×4 Fords
Please tell me
what I am saying
In the breath between sin and baptism
I can smell their pleas, and all of them
smell of their mother’s milk
Mend those knees of sisters set in gravel
spines snatched by canvassed brothers and
the daddies rendered mute in sterile morgues
Mend the ears that heard his cry
calling her name, mine
and Mary’s too
I ask you again Lord, please praise ‘em.
BIO: Cleveland native Andrea Y. Rodriguez is an Afro-Latina writer based in Chicagoland. She graduated in Fall 2021 with her B.A. in English from Lewis University. Rodriguez is a 2022 Best Small Fiction nominee and has been featured in FEED, Jet Fuel Review, Ghost Heart Literary Journal, The Rise Up Review, and elsewhere. Rodriguez currently works as a Human Resource Specialist for Fountaindale Public Library.