April 11, 2010

Writer's Forum at Words of Wisdom - 04/11/10

Today, I'm re-posting a poem I did for last week's Mama Kat's Writers' Workshop, and linking it to Words of Wisdom's Writer's Forum. Yes, I know this a cheap way to do a post in two places at once!

Check out the other great submissions at Words of Wisdom!

Familial Fear

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
one day.

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?


  1. I posted a poem there this morning about MY mom, too! Our stories/memories could be identical outside of no physical abuse but the mental anguish has lasted most of my lifetime. I know EXACTLY what you mean about the magazine ads! My greatest fear in life was turning in to my mom when I reached my menopausal years but, thank the good Lord, it hasn't happened. Tho I keep asking Dear Hubby "I'm not like my mom yet, am I?" I still have that fear deep inside. Some things in life never go away, do they? Before she died 21 years ago, we were able to get a lot of stuff resolved, for which I'm very thankful. Great poem! Loved it!

  2. Very good poem! And it's okay to post the same thing for two forums! I think so anyway! Especially when the poem is as good as this one!

  3. Tough read. Beautifully written.

  4. Wow. This is incredibly well written. I know how you feel; I wasn't physically abused, but the mental and emotional toll my mother took still lingers.

  5. I loved it the first time and I love it this time ♥


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