As I sit in my mother’s kitchen
Listening to the hum of the furnace
And looking into her plain, open-mouthed
And sleeping face,
I think, of old times, of past times:
Of my life when I was a child.
I feel the distance between
Us, and it is huge. Like
Miles and miles between the
Kitchen table, long where she
Sits and I sit.
I remember as a child. I sat there,
Looking at her, and I felt the void.
“The empty space.” And I realized.
It was not only my father who was
The “Workaholic,” Who refused to
Be around, to be a father.
When I came home
From school, as a child,
My mother was there, because
She wanted to raise us
And be the “Stay-at home Mom.”
She was never there. She
Was never a mother. She
Tore my hair out when she
Brushed my hair, and I screamed.
She cut my toenails with
Beauty scissors and sometimes
I would bleed, and I screamed.
I looked at her house, at my face.
She has always refused to be
My mother. But by now I don’t think
I remember how broken I felt,
When she asked me, “How was school?”
And begrudgingly, I started to share
About my day. I always
Wanted to share, but I soon learned
It was in vain to start it,
It was always the phone. The phone.
The phone rang, and it was all over.
Whatever story, I shared, it could be
Dark and scary, mean, and awful,
Or bright, cheery, and wonderful,
My mother would always choose the
Phone over me. Always.
It was not for one five minute call.
It was that the phone always on the hook.
Constantly. It rang and rang constantly.
I remember waiting thirty, forty, fifty minutes
For her to finish talking on the phone.
Sometimes I stayed in the room, and sat
With her, because I just wanted to be near.
She didn’t care how angry I was, how sad
And broken and torn up I was over her always
Choosing the phone over me. The only thing
To tear her away from it, was some kind of
Emergency. I remember I had my face full
Of whatever emotion it was, and then I
Would break. Crestfallen. Now I feel I really
Know what the word means. It was awful.
It felt like heartbreak. I didn’t want to share,
Even when I was a child, because I
Knew she could not listen. She could
Not be my mother. I hated her for it,
And I hated the phone, too. I smiled, now
Thinking about hating something that
Doesn’t have a mind of heart, it’s not a
Living thing. But I frown now, also, because
I don’t feel my mother is a mindful heart,
Either. There is no reason, anymore, to hate
Her even though I’ve hated her for many years.
I’ve hated her for so many years.
But the point? Of hating someone who can’t
Ever love you back? There is no point. And
I have decided to let her go. Let her stop
Being my mother. Let myself stop
There is nothing to be gained from it,
Anymore. She is too old.
She is so cold, and ruthless.
I know there is not a chance, or way,
She could ever possibly be mother.