The First Time You See Your Mother Cry.

It’s something of an out of body experience

The first time you see

Your mother



It’s shocking.


For the first time it’s

Not bright happy tears

Or the sort that spring up

Light and fresh

When she’s stubbed her toe


No these are real, real tears

Large heaving sobs of tears

Wet and choking sadness

That has welled up inside

And pooled out onto the kitchen table


And suddenly you’re struck

With the realization that

Your mother




All that sadness has sopped into the air

And you’re but a girl of 12

And you try and gather it into


To help share that pain


You step into her arms

For the first time

 You are the one comforting

And some sense of innocence is lost


When did you become an adult?

Or are you still a child

That line is unclear


Were you grown the day

That your older brother

Almost overdoses on

Your 14th Birthday


Or the day you travel on a

Plane all by yourself

Or the day you teach your

Younger brother why that word

Is hateful and shall not be



Are you grown when you turn 18

And still drink Orange juice from

Cardboard boxes

But still know how to file your own


And check your drink for drugs


Did we grow up somewhere

In the blinks between

Childhood days


When you started thinking

That your middle school emo hair

Was cringey

Or was it before that

At a kitchen table

With your mom

Still so young, but different


Or are you still not grown

Still young

Still a child

Still unknowing of so much that could be known


I can’t tell you.


But you’ve gotten much better

At comforting mothers

At kitchen tables

I do know that.


This poem is about: 
My family


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