An ode to my mother


A word i dont use.
A hypocrite is what i call you because the words you often speak are mine.

The voice that potrays your thoughts is similar to the one that whispers inside me and that terrifies me.
To an extent that i wish that i was not your daughter but a friend.
So I would not be afraid of your voice,
i would admire it.

You said a mother can never hate her children but she can hurt.
A father can hurt.
A sister can hurt.
I can hurt.

You love another more than you’d ever love me in the 17 years I’ve lived in your company.
Another that I’ve seen come into your arms a mess.
The debris of a storm.
Floating in an ocean,
That you gathered in your boat of selfless love that rarely docks unto my island now.
You gathered enough of his debris to build a hut on your island.
You built him a campfire and a castle.
Made him rice and chicken and spinach which he swore was the storm that would swing him back into the sea.
You showered the rains upon his hut and land,
Made his crops grow fat rice and banana,
Which he one day burnt because you sided with the storm that threw him into your arms.
Because you said no.
He broke down the hut.
Destroyed the castle and doused the campfire with water from his empty tears.
He screamed and hurt.
And you waited until a flash of lightning struck and the light blinded everything.
And everything was normal again.

And i watched from my island of 10 feet and a dying tree and salt water lapping at my feet.
I watched as he ran around in circles and you chased him.

I swam ashore one day and asked you “why are you following him?”
You gave me flowers from the palms that lined your beach and cast me back to my island.
As i swam back you screamed “build a boat made from the bark of reason and then I’ll answer”
But i ask you o mother,
How do i build a boat on this ten feet island of mine with a dying tree and salt water lapping at my feet?

Your affection for him is worth a thousand love letters written by hand under a million stars and a lonely moon.
I wrote one for you a long time ago.
It burned with all the other letters that are lost in the firewood that is time and fate.
Their ashes choking the ones that wrote them.

Your love for me is boundless i can see.
But i don’t.
My sight blurs and fades when you say i am useless.
My vision becomes dark when you accuse me of things i have not done.
It becomes the unholy night that creeps into my senses when you make me feel that daylight that falls on my skin is wasted.
Its become the lonliest cavern when you say how i am a dissapointment.
I become pluto without the heart shaped crater when you make the truth die in my throat.

After every fight which i never want to begin,
I sit in my room for a hour remembering how to breathe air and not sink into the pit that forms in my stomach.
That pokes me like knives under my skin.
A cold nothingness.

I want to say i love you not because you are my mother,
But because you taught me how to breathe the same air that mixes along with vicious hatred and blind thoughts.
You taught me to tie knots of rope that used to swing lifelessly.
You taught me how to live even though i could never love the way you do and you taught me to love
And love
And love
And love
And love.
But why is it? Amma that i can’t love myself?
Why is it that i come back to this island of ten feet and a dying tree and salt water lapping at my feet?
Why is it that your island is home to a civilization and i can never swim ashore?
I can only watch.
Why is it so, amma?


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