Mother This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 13, 2016

my mother:

 

cracked fingers

 

splitting nails

 

with sweat above her brow and dirt between her toes

 

she would say to me, “Anna, you can do anything.”

 

confused by its subjectivity

 

lost in the translation

 

was it permission or expulsion?

 

 

dear mother,

 

I hope it was permission

 

for all your back-breaking

 

jaw-clenching

 

overwhelmingly hair-pulling tendencies

 

you’ve built a home

 

I know you never graduated

 

and your report cards were never on refrigerators

 

you had a sick mother in your bed at the age of 17

 

worrying about medical bills

 

I have a cracked screen on my phone at the age of 17

 

and friends who do drugs to busy themselves

 

And you say I can do anything I want

 

I know you think that means I should graduate

 

have my report cards on refrigerators

 

that I should get that master’s that you never got

 

in that field you found so interesting

 

but your hands were busy wrist-deep

 

in sponge baths and medications

 

you must’ve felt so alone

 

that you couldn’t do anything

 

but be there

 

be without

 

be a dropout

 

mother,

 

I hope

 

god, I pray

 

that when you say I can do anything

 

that you know I don’t need to read textbooks

 

to be knowledgeable

 

I don’t need a man to shake my hand and give
me a diploma

 

to have self-worth

 

that I don’t need my master’s

 

to love myself

 

I hope you love yourself

 

I hope you know all I wish to do

 

is be half as strong as you

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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Claranevs said...
Jun. 17, 2016 at 3:29 am
Beautiful!
 
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