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My Mother

October 15, 2013

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Was rear-ended by an elderly man who pulled over only after she laid on the horn-

He called her a feisty bitch so she tried to run him over.

He threatened to call the cops: go ahead you fucking asshole. Her words.

This is the woman who pushed me out of her womb

With the same rage I was once afraid of after each slammed cabinet.

I have carried it with me over the years, like a thoughtless stammer:

The guilt that if my mother could do it over again I might not be here –

Most likely because she would be discovering ancient cities under the sea

Or teaching art on a reservation in Utah, voting red and

Never once believing in God but instead, she had me:

Expending all her greatness patching holes in the wall

Where I kicked, introducing me to the world

With the shake of a Huckleberry branch and

Allowing my small self to believe every piece of obsidian was a rare artifact.

I saw the panic of passion in the bloodstains on her unwashed

Red vest from a time she pulled a man out of a vehicle at the scene

Of a collision. Vigorous woman, always highly flammable in my eyes and

Blitzing down the highway. The kind of volatile that makes your heart charge

Towards your intestines: she took to mothering with the metal jaw of a lifer.

I think the day is coming when she won’t know who I am because of how

The cancer treatment poisoned her memory – everything is marginalized over time. 

It is apt that my mother would enter old age thundering on the double-edged leviathan of madness and forgetfulness.

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