Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Your Own Path

Let's set the record straight:
the truth is,
you weren't always a very good mother.

You drank too much.  When other moms
were baking cupcakes and going to PTA meetings
you bleached your hair and wore too much blue eyeshadow.
Worked late nights. Had noisy sex when you
came home
in the mornings.

You laughed too loud when I was a teen
people would stare at you,
dancing as though
no one else was watching.  Embarassed me almost
to death.

You always loved the wrong men.
Including my father, who left
 and never really looked back
at us.  Not until
it was way too late.
You forgave him anyway.
Did not forgive the one who hit too often,
dropped it all and flew off in the night with me,
sleepy in the back seat of the car.

You grieved too hard.  Got angry
fast.  You could yell like a man. Fight dirty.
Spent entire days reading long novels and
ignoring the housework.

When the time came, you let me love the wrong boy
didn't say anything you would regret later,
and learn what that felt like. 
Stay out all night.  Ride in
fast dangerous cars when I should have been

There were loud fights.  I sometimes
wished you were not so brash
so rude to rude salesgirls.

You blew smoke into the blonde chippy's face
when,  16 at a football game, she coughed and
complained about your cigarettes. 
I looked at the other frumpy mothers
selling band candy and wearing brown shoes
and wished you away.

As we got older, and things a little easier,
all my friends liked hanging out with you--
It kind of annoyed me.
I said "she's not your mom."

You've had a tendency to rewrite history,
talk about how many flowers you planted,
how often you cooked home meals for me.

You did not age gracefully.

You do everything the hard way.

But the truth is:
now I know why. 

I've always liked Magdalenes better than Marthas.
And I am not embarassed to have loved you
all of those things.
in spite of them.


comebacknikki said...

This is really beautiful, kim!

Pearl said...

hm, complex relationship. vivid ride thru teenage years and mom's relationships.

the last two stanzas puzzle. the why is because she was perceived that way by daughter who wanted to see her that way because she liked the Magdelene type better?