Are You my Mother?

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

She can.

 

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

Hating her.

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.

4/3/13

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