My Mom

We argue every day.

We argue until walls fall down,

Until the neighbors from downstairs look up at us

And say the next day “Please don’t slam the door. We hear you.”

And the neighbors from next door swallow their silence

Like they’re swallowing a bitter pill.


We argue until I’m possessed by fury,

And a power that I didn’t know I had,

Where something dark, nasty, and wild

Rises up, takes over me,

Where I can feel my fingers shake

Because my anger explodes over me like a volcano;

She presses me, a self destruct button.


We argue until I dry out,

My tears making a pool that I can drown in,

And I have;

We argue and I feel that

I’m not good enough,

Or strong enough,

Or smart enough,

Or just enough in any way,

And no one wants me,

I’m just there.


Some days I tell her that I’ll move to California,

Just so I can get away

And be alone,
And sometimes I can barely take a step out the front door

Because I need her,

And I love her.

Even though we fight

And even though we punch with words

That leave scars band-aids cannot heal,

Even though we argue argue argue,

What this means is that I’ve memorized my mother’s voice

And I can take her with me everywhere I go.


When I go off to college,

I will hear my mother telling me

I’m good enough

And strong enough

And smart enough,

And just enough in every way,

And that she loves me, loves me, loves me.


We fight,

Because we care enough to punch our words,

And tell the truth,

And be supportive,

And I love her, love her, love her

More than anything,

And need her always and forever.

This poem is about: 
My family


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