I see you looking back at me
as I brush my hair,
your eyes are mine,
the mirror does not lie.
I examine my hands, my feet
my thinning lips
for any physical resemblance,
fearful that that would be enough to imprint
your blackened heart upon mine - and I am afraid.
I hear your voice when frustration reigns,
when anger burbles up from my throat and onto my tongue
poisoning my words with your venom.
For as long as I have had memories, I wished only to be
as dissimilar to you as I am to the oak tree
in that meadow over there.
The list I kept and added to,
decades of rules and words and sentences
punishments too harsh, the tally of bruises inflicted
the sum total of all the things I would not do
or say to MY children
Despite my best efforts,
and all my protestations to the contrary,
I fear I am turning into you
and I am filled with sorrow.
Mothers and daughters - the magazine ads
belie what I lived at home
No matching outfits and conspiratorial whisperings
made up my days.
The tea party had no cups or saucers.
Eager was I to leave your clutches,
to wash your influence from my skin.
Yet, I came back again and again
for that kick...like a dog, who returns with a wag
and a lick to her abusive master.
I thought it was just the sins of the father
that were visited upon the sons
After you are dead, will I love you more?