My mother complains and that’s how I know she loves me. She says my shorts are too short and they show off my legs all varicose veiny. She says I need shorts like my son, but he says I don’t need them because I’m pretty. Mom says pretty is as pretty does. What she means is: I can’t bear to be without you. When Mom freaks out about the traffic accidents on the eight and tells me to work closer or I’ll regret it, she’s telling me she worries about me on the road, and I keep thinking she wasn’t given tools. Her mother in and out of mental institutions, her stepdad stuck his tongue down her throat as she did the dishes. Her own mother could not believe it. She wasn’t given tools, and yet she believed me when I told her how weird it was that Mr. Armin’s hands snuck up my friend’s (his daughter’s) ass, and never let me spend the night again. When Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond would play on the radio, oh, how Mom would sing in her lovely soprano. You don’t sing me love songs, drowning out any of us kids. Her mother used to tell her to stop that squawking when Mom was in her school choir and practiced every day to create a way out of chaos. She got out, made her own.
2 replies on “Motherspeak”
that poem sings
so real and wonderful! thank you!