I rocked wildly, as I clung to the memory of pain, to the memory of my mother. I couldn’t release it; I would lose her again.
“Abinia,” [Mama Mae] said, trying to hold me still, “you tell Mama Mae why you rockin’ like this.” She held my face and forced my eyes to meet hers. “You talk to Mama. Abinia, you got to talk. Don’t you go away like this. You talk to Mama. You tell her what the trouble is.”
I tried to pull away, but… Mama took my rocking self to her lap. Press me to her strong bosom, she slowed my rhythm to match her own. “Mama gonna take this pain from you,” she said. Rocking back, she breathed deeply, pulling me into herself, and as we rocked forward, she exhaled in deep guttural moans the sorrow I was holding.