My Mother

I would not call my mother a meek woman.

Maybe she was when she met my father.

No—scratch that—my mother has never been a meek woman. 

The look she gives when

She catches you with your hands in the cookie jar,

Could make anyone wet their pants.

We call it "the evil eye."

It was the same look she gave

The idiot who told her to go back to the kitchen

when she spoke up at a homeowners' meeting.

Or to my father when he

Brought another girl to singles groups at church because

He thought my mother was recently engaged,

The same look she gave said girl

When my father was too polite to ask her to get off his lap

While the girl pretended to be his girlfriend.


My mother's tongue is sharp,

Delivering reprimanding remarks

Like a skilled archer hits bull's eyes.

The same tongue that, when irritated again by the same girl, delivered the line,

"Stick your lip out any more and 

A little bird is going to come a long and poop on it."

And though she married my dad

Before she could go off to college,

My mother's wit is gust as sharp

As knives that cut through flesh like butter.


But my mother is also a brave woman,

Withstanding my grandparents' attempts to

Marry her off at 17 to men twice her age,

A mother who, when hearing my aunt scream

As we were playing in the front yard,

Jumped out of the shower, dripping wet and pregnant,

With nothing but a towel around her head

To shoot and kill an 8 foot rattle snake

With my dad's pistol,

The second time she ever fired one.

This poem is about: 
My family


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