Mothers Are Not Perfect

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Mothers Are Not Perfect
(Inspired by poet Idrissa Simmons)

No matter how sweet
they can be or might have been.
This you have learned
as you squirm under the burden of memories
of your mother rapping your head with a comb
or pinching you in church to quiet
your fidgeting
“like a worm in hot ashes.”

You will remember licking the batter 
from the spoon and the Anchor Hocking bowl
bigger than your lap.
You may remember finding secrets in whispers, 
notes and letters
that detail your birth
and the romantic and hectic circumstances
surrounding her decisions
to lie or deny
answers to your questions:
“Curiosity killed the cat.”
“Nunna your business”
a warning glance.

Of course, strawberry ice cream dripping down your 
Hershey chocolate arms
on a summer evening might soften some of the 
edges of your memory
of unintended words that snap your heart.

Once you are grown
and have stepped into sticky bubblegum or bullshit,
you know how hard it is to get that crap off your shoes;
so, you look down
hoping to avoid such unpleasantries;
but you ended up bumping into a wall
of your own making
and you look down at your hands and you see her hands
the same long fingers,
wrinkled plum knuckles
and soft fingernails.
Then you learn that healing begins with
Forgiving…

©Dorothy Marie Rice 2019

Richmond, VA. Dorothy Marie Rice. Mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, friend, writer, artist always discovering something new...

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