Mother

Your bones lie scattered between

Concrete slabs, narrow crevices

Of explicitly defined pretension,

A single misplaced expectation

Would leave your avoidant spine

Fractured. I have watched the

Meticulous care by which your

Eyes are nightly sewn so that

Nothing of my shadowed youth

Would upon your irises darken

=

You uproot the nerves in my brain stem

String them on an ornate harp and force

Upon me a melody to which my dissonant

Tongue can offer no accompaniment. In

Your presence I am silent and invalid, a

Statue around which events are fixed

=

In the mirror you will speak of yourself

Cruelly, face bare, eyes raw as cancer and

You will dress in my clothing, assuming

My diurnal cloak of thorns, we will never

Speak of the steel-toed boots that walk in

Breach of sacred Geometry , we will never

Speak of lovers or of fathers and especially

Not of the  incestuous beds in which they

Come to coexist. We will survive with

Gutted features and windless words that

Do not carry in a cramped aviary where birds

Do not fly or sing, save in the presence of one

Another, no matter how morbid the comfort.

=

Now that you are safe I have no reason

To encroach upon your cretaceous nests,

I will tread carefully, indefinitely catering

To your grave margins, fictitious in the

Dusky rose of your habitually pulled lids

 

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5 thoughts on “Mother

  1. Grave Margins must be kept, but not necessarily honored with hereditary fear and detest. We are, as I’m sure you know, the sum of our parents, an extension of their hopes, fears and longings, if we so choose. Or, we can choose to be free, a choice which requires a total psychological commitment. But here I am lecturing as if I knew anything. I guess this poem struck at something hidden, forgotten, that needs to be chased into the light and throttled into non-existence. Quite a read.

    1. Given the state of my parents mental health I have never really been able to rely upon them for guidance (my dad is a alcoholic Schizophrenic psychopath I am not certain his advice is advisable). I don’t have a relationship with my father its too dangerous and much much too unhealthy. My mom has made tremendous strides and we do now have a relationship but we still do not talk in any real way and I think that’s alright because I was there I saw what she went through, what I went through. I think she needs a fresh healthy start, I know even without her words how much guilt she feels it shows in her efforts to be a better person, to be a healthier person and I have forgiven her. I think I will always feel protective of her and I think I will always be cautious because she is so easily hurt.

      1. This is a breathtaking piece. I have similar feelings about my own mother, who has anxiety problems and panic attacks. I feel that I cannot really talk to her about my worries, and fears, and insecurities, because she will worry about me. She’ll worry herself sick. Literally.

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