When Angel’s Laugh/ Karen’s Kairos moment

Today my son turned 1 month. It also marks 2 weeks since my mother passed away. I can’t find the words to put what I feel in paragraph. But I have always found poetry to be the perfect prose to express and process pain.

I wrote the below poem for my mother’s home going service and have decided to share.

“When Angels Laugh” 

Cumulus clouds creeped across the sky 
It was overcast overhead but with a slither of shine 
Though, Through the grey gradient, some gold shimmered sly 
Then a quick wave of drops showered from the sky 
A sunshower, or as we say in the hood 
“The devil’s beating his wife.” 

I asked my mom,

“When it rains while it shines, does that mean
An angel cries?” 

My mom thought for a moment, 
“sure, I suppose
The gold is the reflection of heaven’s doors 
and the quick rain drops
That pit pat and tip top are angel tear drops. 
But look how quickly it passed
Because even angels know that sadness won’t last. 
Instead of worrying bout angel tears and fears that come to pass
Think about when angels laugh.” 

“When Angels laugh? They don’t have time for that.” I said, taken aback. 
I knew my mom was crazy but I’d never heard that. 

She replied 
“Sure why can’t angel’s laugh? They have time to cry, right?
After all, the man who made the rules,
turned water into wine, not apple juice.
I’m sure there’s some wiggle room 
for the angels to rejoice and be grateful too.” 

“Well ma, what does angel laughter look like? Rainbows in the sky? Unicorns and glitter?” 

My mother stared into the now sunny skies that glimmered
and inhaled the smell of damp concrete and the sweet summer rain. 

She smiled and said 
 “Angel laughter temporarily heals the pain. 
Angel laughter looks like…like, Lenox ave on a saturday
Black folk running numbers or running errands, 
With enough money left for leisure spending or 
Saving for Sunday’s offering, 
Angel laughter looks like Sundays finest. 
Angel laughter is what makes church hats defy gravity, 
And defy fashion rules- 
It’s the older church woman who sneaks you candies 
like she wants to give you a cavity. 
It’s the good candy too, not that candy that lives in the bottom of elder pocketbooks 
and tastes like a shoe (you know what i’m talking about)

Angel laughter smells like sunday desert, 
Soul food that comes from the church, 
Water turned into wine, 
Some extra time in the day to 
Read, to sleep, to play with your children too 
Angel laughter is the sound of soul music that you children know nothing bout 
It’s the sound when the choir shuts down the house
Angel laughter is a perfectly bloomed sunflower on the fire escape on the corner of 138th street. 
Angel laughs creep through sidewalk cracks, they are the roses that grow from concrete. 
It is auburn autumn leaves, and a cool breeze on a sunny day. 

Angel laughter happens when you tell God your plans. 
Angels laugh when you think God is a man. 

Angel laughter feels like, 
Even when the bills aren’t paid, 
When I’m stressed and in dismay, 
Feeling low and gloom
Angel laughter fills every inch of the room. 
Angel laughter lifts me up from my doom. 
Angel laughter looks like you! 
It’s in the mirror too. 
Angel’s laughter is all around us
It’s Within us. 
It’s something we feel inside and see outside for our own confirmation. 
It’s what heals our internal confrontations. 
It’s how we forgive and move on. 

And I know this will sound strange to hear, but 
At some point, I’ll pass on my dear. 
I know that the great unknown causes fear
But waste no time shedding tears. 
I want you to know that even when I’m physically gone 
I’ll always be near. 
You’ll have to listen closely and you’ll surely hear 
I’ve made my way to heaven, and my soul is free at last, 
& You’ll know,
cuz i’ll be up there making them angels laugh.”




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