By Accident

‘It hurt. It hurt like hell. But it didn’t matter, if no one knew.’
Nella Larsen, Passing
There is no answer for a broken heart, she said.
Now I can’t forget the way she held her head up high.
She was always kind, my Mama, dignified.
There’s nothing as potent as regret, I said, out loud,
Though she’s gone to the big upland in the sky,
And the band is playing jazz, I hope, playing it loud.
If ever you pass me in the street, pass me by, I said.
I was too busy being somebody else, telling lies,
Too full of shame of kindred, blood and line.
I should’ve shut my mouth, not averted my eye.
How I wish she could un-die, my kith, my kin.
The hands of time were pearly white, you see.
If you want to blame somebody, don’t blame me!
If I loved her too much, I’m sorry, she said.