To my mother

o-mother-daughter-relationship-facebookIf I had been your mother and you my daughter

we would have learned to walk both straight and crooked

together stronger for leaning upon one another

in this motion, undoing that well rehearsed need

common among our ilk

to walk alone

learning this when those who should protect

absented or let down, spilling trust

repeating patterns before we knew how to protest

formed inside faulty mold

given no improvement or nourishment for fledgling soul

we split apart like neglected corn

ears green and burned by indifferent sun

we sought the succor of dangerous people

familiar with their welt

hid the tender shoots of us within a grave

absenting gentleness

despising love’s solace

sharpening and hardening our calloused parts

we did not recognize in each other

the need overarching stubbornness

revealed at last

when day is lower in webbed sky than it ought

but better now than never at all

we break the spell we unwind the curse

If you were my daughter and I your mother

I would have given you wisdom

found in my search to banish self-immolation

growing like a vine within our generations

disappearing women from each others tenderness

enemies from birth

I would have rolled back our wounds and discovered

the beauty of love as it lies undisturbed

on the surface of a child’s face

who trusts before she learns to ache

If I had been your mother and you my child

between us, within us, all things take flight

we are the breath of our ancestors

we are the change of their losses and the gains of their folly

supporting our footsteps toward the

female divine who, smiling though hour is late

welcomes those who were lost on their way

into feeling whole, not out-of-place

beyond sharp spaces of our regret

there is time ahead where even the damaged

heart can forget her sorrow

never too late for finding each other

as long as we breathe

there is always time to make right

disturbance turned close like moon

undoing hurt in redeeming womb


51 thoughts on “To my mother

  1. I can understand it being hard to write. It was my pleasure to read it. All your poems are amazing.

  2. I don’t know WHY I had that thought but somehow I just knew had the roles been reversed now I could heal everything. I’m so glad you liked it, that means a lot to me S. xo

  3. ” on the surface of a child’s face who trusts before she learns to ache”. …the beauty and trust of a child, you have captured so beautifully….I miss my parents as they passed away several years ago. I think if I could reverse roles with them I would shower them with love, affection and security and be consistent with those messages. I grew up with insecurities which I carry today. Thank you so much for this as reading it caused me to think about my parents.

  4. “on the surface of a child’s face
    who trusts before she learns to ache”

    Man did this line hit hard in my heart! You have such a marvelous way of putting into words that which the human heart and psyche feels, words that paint not what is seen or heard but felt inside interior unlit rooms.

    Sadly the time ran out for this to happen between my mom and I for she took to her grave her violation of trust and egregrious betrayal leaving me still with the lifelong ache in tact:
    “there is time ahead where even the damaged heart can forget her sorrow never too late for finding each other”
    Love and hugs, N πŸ™‚ ❀

  5. Opening two lines and the last two lines of this poem nurtures the emotional journey and bonding between a mother and daughter. This is beyond poetry; flow emotions from depths of a soul and touches the heart of a reader. Loved this.

  6. I have pondered this often. To me it seems that all children have some things in their growing years they would dearly love to change. And when we have our own children we work hard not to repeat those ‘mistakes’. Yet we create our own – and so it is that our children in their turn will do the same …The only conclusion I can come to is that we each do the best we can at any given time πŸ™‚

  7. Amitav this is one of the only times you have written here and I am deeply honored because long have I adored your writing as you know because I always seem to go on and on about it (big fan) thank you so much for reading this and writing back – you know how much your opinion matters to me, you are consistently a superb poet yourself and you inspire me to try harder and be authentic and truthful xo Thank you my friend

  8. N, I have worked hard to avoid this, I do not know what the ‘ultimate’ outcome shall be but I have tried that’s all you can do, and it’s not your fault because some people are intractable you cannot change them no matter how much you want to and try and then you are left with the ache which is the worst part, just know this is NOT reflective of you.

  9. Perfectly captures what we wish to give and receive through generations of mothers to daughters. The wish to improve upon or create a new healing legacy. Yet always there are mistakes and missteps among the most thoughtful and wonderful of mothers.

  10. Oh this made me cry! You are an amazing amazing writer. So truly gifted with a pure heart and a way with words that touches the soul.

  11. Dearest friend, Thank you very much for reading this and for your kind response, I really appreciate it! Today is a gloomy day for me and I am uplifted by your kindness xo

  12. I’m so sorry to hear it is gloomy for you! I stayed up until 3 am last night. Could not sleep and I read 50 or so of your blog posts and I loved every single one

  13. Wow you’re so kind to do that. I hope you also ate chocolate cake and read a good novel as that’s what keeps me up to 3am ! Actually I like the night more than the day, so maybe we’re just appreciative of the quiet and the calm of night away from all the noise. xo

  14. Your blog was my novel for the night!
    I do love nighttime. I love the smell of the air. I love the night sounds. I love the quiet of the house. I stay up late most nights. Not usually until 3. I didn’t have cake but I had cheese and crackers and crumbed up the bed quite nicely πŸ™‚

  15. aw now you’re making me blush! thank you so much dear girl xo I would stay up most nights if I could I really love the night, I used to like night movies because the people in them really ‘got’ that, like All Night Long, and Night Moves. Ha Ha Ha I guess I should have got a night job! cheese works!

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