happy mother’s day to all those lovely mamas out there who never get enough credit for all the stuff they do. you deserve every day of the year, not just one.
personally, i’ve learned to forgive my own mother for leaving all those years ago and sometimes we text now, friendly and carefully, from across the country. it’s still been four years since i’ve seen her last, but i’m okay with that.
i’m still working on forgiving my stepmother for leaving me when she left my dad. it takes time and a lot of heart, but i’m giving it my all and hoping to succeed so that someday, i can hug her at family events and think only of the way she raised me so well, not the stormy aftermath.
i’ll always be a motherless girl at heart, but i can only hope that someday, when i have kids, the beauty of this day will shine a light on my bitterness and expose it to the true endless compassion and selflessness most mothers practice on a daily basis.
the problem with endings
i feel everything ending around me these days.
every experience seems to be a last— the last
time i’ll touch your cheek as we sit in the green
campus grass on a weekday afternoon. the last
class i’ll ever skip to drink coffee in the sunlight.
my last fraternity party, feeling simultaneously
old and young shoulder-to-shoulder in a room
filled with kids equally confused about their futures.
my last ever exam, after an entire life’s worth
of them. if my identity has always been ‘student,’
who am i now?
i don’t understand how you can see the twinkling
stars in the big, broad sky and still not believe in
anything at all.
if there is no rhyme or reason, how could i find
myself crying in my driveway on a tuesday night?
why would i feel myself sinking and my heart pounding
when i visit my dad only to find him all alone in a big,
empty house? what would you call the fuzzy feeling
in your belly when everything’s just right, when you
feel the calmness of the whole universe settling over
you like some big, cosmic blanket?
my professor says that every relationship must
inevitably come to an end. some by messy
breakups. some by jaded divorce. some by death.
i don’t want things to end so suddenly anymore.
i want them to gently fade away into the horizon.
if i’m not as aware of the world pulling things
straight out of my hands, maybe it’ll get easier
to say goodbye.
boy of summer
he’s singing the boys of summer and i’m thirteen, riding on the handlebars, throwing my head back in pure bliss. we ride around the city streets until it’s dark out and way past our curfews. he kisses me on the cheek on the front step.
now i see him in college with a beer in his hand, so tall and strong. how could that be? just yesterday, he was as small as me, the two of us crammed into my twin-sized bed.
it felt like no time at all went by as our phone calls went forgotten, as you morphed into someone i don’t know over social media. i guess what i’m saying is thanks for helping me grow into myself when i was too young to understand anything. thanks for being a vital part of my childhood. thanks for easing my insecurities. and of course, thanks for the smile i find growing on my face every time don henley comes on the radio.
on a night warm enough to open the window,
close your eyes and let the soft winds blow into
your stuffy home. let your soul fly through the
i serve strangers their coffee when the sun is
still rising like goosebumps on his arms when
i touch him in the dark. they smile politely and i
learn their names. they never learn mine.
who am i? the girl behind the counter who smells
of espresso and good intentions. the student in
the back of the class, just trying to make it to
graduation with an all right GPA. the wide-eyed
dreamer slowly falling to pieces while everyone
around her is convinced by shallow smiles.
what i mean to say is, i’m sorry. i haven’t been
much to you lately, but i haven’t been much to
myself either. how can i sew up your wounds
when mine are bleeding out? how can i trust
you to fix me again when you’ve already put me
back together so many times before?
what i mean to say is, i am a ghost of myself
haunting the shadows, drinking in the smiles of
friends and family for energy. i am all worn
out. i am the wilted flower in the garden
surrounded by blooming blossoms.
on a night warm enough to open the window,
i let my hair blow in the wind. i remember for
a moment who i am. maybe i’m closer than i think.