What I Learned From My Mother’s Survival

What I Learned From My Mother’s Survival

A front porch is always foggy.
My mother, in my memory,
Will forever be in shadow,
A stone, a silhouette.

Slamming doors is a way
Of life. An art form.
It spawns a future fear
Of certain everyday sounds.

Torn apart is an expression
Best kept hidden
Worn by worn down women,
By our underpaid mothers. Their hearts
Floating just above the ground.
Hands flaking. Winter wind
Lashing exposed skin. Mouth
Full of clothes pins. If I squint
I can see a vision of Our Lady
Of Sorrows. Seven swords.

My mother is a beating, sacred
Heart. Hair billowing, tongue
Sparking like flint. Static cling
Electric. I see her now in a
Firefly flicker. In a flash
Of lightning, violet in the
Corner of my eye, where smoke
Grows thicker. My mother,
In my memory, will forever be
A cooling ember after a
Mighty storm. Never beaten
Down, only lacking warmth,
An icicle in her chest to soothe
The inner sores.

A closed door
Is anxiety. Crying at night means
We are still alive. Even in
Frozen fear mode, my mother
Taught me how to survive.

(November, 2019)

Note: Happy International Women’s Day! My mother is a wonderful woman & I wrote this to honor her.

Published by Jennifer Patino


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