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Birthright

I have to stop hurting my mother.
She does the best she knows how,
In that walled-in life she leads,
On that clockwise path she walks
On a tether to her fictive ideals.
We all have our ancestry,
Who set the stones of posterity
And hide from blame in their graves.
They cast their shadows
Long after they’re lost to the sun.
I would like to believe it’s no chore
To wriggle from under
The thumbs of the dead.
But I keep on hurting my mother,
Though she did the best she knew how.
I injure her with my distance,
And my dismissive lack of concern.
She bore three sons into this family
And half of us are gone.

Comments

twitches said…
This is a poem I can really relate to right now. Sometimes "the best she knew how" isn't good enough...or at least, hard to forgive. Anyway, "the thumbs of the dead" is divine.
Sarahjane said…
"who hide from blame in their graves.
They cast their shadows
Long after they're lost to the sun."

I am surprised how these lines move me, because there's no imagery here that is stark or different, if I were to "analyze" it. I think it's the tie to the "mother" concept and the way I feel I can relate, with all my own mommy issues.
Atheist I may be, but I believe in the concept of the Mother as a sacred, divine figure. Does that even make sense, logically?

I'm new to your blog but I'm intrigued by you, by the little I've read on here.
I'm excited to know you better,
to know your work.

There is some absolutely stellar poetry here.
I've missed coming by here to read your work. Your poetry always speaks to me.
I'm admitted to lurking when I couldn't leave a comment, either because I was at a public computer or due to being overcome with no words to express my reaction. If I saw you in real life I would have nodded, locked eyes, sighed, silently appreciated, or what-not.

I relate to this distancing from a mother. However, for me, it's my survivial mechanism and that's all I can say, other than what I write between the lines in some of my poetry.

Glad to see you still writing, Square T.
Brian said…
I love the last two lines especially. the divisibility of a person...
We all relate to this poem becos at some point of time we do distance ourselves from our parents. We have to do that but we feel the pang too. That is very well told here..
...deb said…
Interesting comment from gel; I myself have not-posted here before, unable to frame words. It's true this time as well. Though the last two lines caught at me.
paris parfait said…
"...and hide from blame in their graves." A fascinating take on the often complex relationship between a mother and her child. Funny, no matter how hard we wish it were not so, we retain elements of those who've gone before us, which clouds the present.
Rob Kistner said…
Potent poem Traveler. The overall work rang disturbingly real for me – poignant.

"I would like to believe it’s no chore
To wriggle from under
The thumbs of the dead."

This passage resonates powerfully for me. I have two "dead" mothers. One abandoned me with no explanation -- her death presumed. The other adopted me into abuse with no remorse -- her death pronounced.

The ghosts of these women, and the scars they left, still rise to haunt me at times -- even at 60 years-of-age.

There is no way to “wriggle from under”, because there can be no liberating confrontation. They “hide from blame in their graves”.

Well written indeed.
blondie said…
Whether our mothers are here or gone forever, we will always hurt them with the choices we make in our lives and we will also feel hurt because of the "best she could" moments. Until there is an element of acceptance on both sides, we will always hurt...

Hugs :) blondie

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