My mother told me
it might be hard to find loyal friends
she said the other girls would be jealous, because i was so pretty
she told me, i would need a strong man, and it might be hard to find one
My mother warned me that men would use me for sex, that they would love my beautiful body
and that few and far between are capable of true honesty
My mother showed me that being intelligent and understanding things, might make me miserable
and that facing life, in all its tragedy, might break my heart.
So what now, mother dearest.
My mother made me, and my mother broke me
like i make and break myself
with impossibly high standards
rambling through my being like late night conversations
My mother sang unabashedly, laughed and burped loudly
and cried at midnight on the kitchen floor
My mother fished and swam in the ocean, beyond where I would dare to go
and told me ‘you will be bigger and brighter and stronger than me’
My mother argued fiercely; frail in the face of the passion moving through her tiny body
and was unable to listen or to see, me being bigger, and brighter, and stronger than she
My mother told me to wait, and I waited, but not long enough
and when I cried, she cried too, apologising on behalf of the world she had borne me into
My mother’s penetrating blue eyes saw through every lie I ever told myself
her unforgiving hands grasping tightly to the things this world bore to her
unreleased; unforgiven; she was served and she carried, refusing to release that which sustained and consumed her
My mother would call and ask me ‘Where are you?’ (an idiom for when I had not been where I ought)
and I would not scream in response, I don’t know Mother, where the fuck are you
My assignments once carefully critiqued in lead pencil are submitted and discarded sans scrutiny
Occasionally, my teeth remain unwashed when I go to bed
My sheets remain unchanged
And my mother is alone.
Where am I?