Mothers who bore me: 
Mother whose hands cup jaws overrun with tears, cutting cheek-length scars; 
Mother whose watch-and-worry carries on after the ocean has reflected the stars; 
Mother who lingers on phones and doorways and gazes and glass-half-fulls and past. 
Mother who lies beside tall grass to seem smaller still--to root herself to something else; 
Mother who brakes car pedals fitfully with feet too weak to defeat oncoming traffic--child strapped in for ballet. 

We watch bubbles cling to the bottoms of champagne flutes 
Trying to hold on somehow to fragile glass, 
Floating to the top regardless, 
Finding the top stops half-empty anyway, cup runneth dry. 
 
Mother?

Mothers who bore me: 
Mother who hands out smiles to crinkle tear lines she couldn’t brush away, 
Mother whose watch ticks slower than school bus tires, 
Mother who lies in ruins--crushed under the weight of all she has taken from others, 
Mother who breaks the notion of wishbones on windowsills; 

We fold our tentative hands in our laps  
Like the corner of a page, 
Marking our place in the conversation we fear to pick up again, 
Lingering on doubt and hurt and words and want and future 

Mother? 

Mothers who bore me: 
Mother who handles desire like a fly fisher’s hook cast in a lake long since frozen over 
Mother who watches ghosts settle between white sheets but never take shape  
Mother who lies through large teeth to small ears 
Mother who breaks 

Mother? 

You’ll have to forgive me, I didn’t build these hands to  
Last night you gave up on light years for street lamps to guide us through waves of
Traffic is getting heavy, hurry
Home has never felt the same since a ghost came to tuck me 
Instead of lingering and hindering maybe you 
Could you please listen to a word of 
Sensibility never swam so I sunk to 
It feels these times like our tires spin faster than they 
Are you 
Okay, I’ll just 
Stop.  

Oh, My Word! Olivia would love to hear from you after reading this poem. Leave a comment below!

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Oh, My Word! is a weekly updated blog featuring fiction, poetry, drama, and essays for the world. #OhMyWordWednesday

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Hello! I am a poet and essayist who sometimes likes to share her work with the world! I am currently an English major at the University of Iowa and write as often as I can (when not spiraling into the black voids of the internet).

2 Comment on “Mothers Who Bore Me

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