Post-Surgery, My Mother Promises to Change Again
Tonight she asks for enchiladas, and my sister
suggests pizza. I think they must want to die.
I’m ashamed to feel this. I roll the shade of
blame down the living room wall, screening
their lives for will. When I’m scared, I call her
weak. One corner: the couch where my mother
cried about her life. This corner: I have never
asked her why she cried behind the cover
of her romance novels. Last week,
when I explained addiction to my grandma,
she screamed, I am the one with the pain! Me!
I didn’t blame her, but I could have.
What’s the point when you yourself become
a knot, that nothing, not even a daughter’s love,
can untie? Words are more powerful than I
have ever been allowed to give them credit for.
I make salmon and brussels sprouts for dinner.
My mom takes a few bites and throws it onto
the counter, disgusted. I don’t want this
responsibility, but someone sacrificed her spirit
to be able to put me in it, say I have suffered,
quietly. This is because I love you.
My mother has never pretended to be important,
not even to herself. I don’t have a daughter,
and probably never will. I have this mind, only,
trying to open the blue in the window, escape
down the secret rope collapsing, inward.