My Mother's Shadow

Sat, 01/03/2015 - 19:01 -- nhungo


When I look at my mother

Her crooked smile

Fragile body

Stranded hair

False sense of fashion despite her youth

Deteriorating through the cruelty of violence

And time


My mother used to tell me

The biggest mistake she’d made in her life

Was to get married and

Let her youth burn to ashes

I watched my mother

Day after day

Years of years

Bruises after bruises

I watched her





In front of the man who she gave her life to

Until she is robbed of

Her womanhood

Her youth

Things that made her whole

Yet the next day

Still she packed his lunch

Waited for his recognition

Swallowed the pride which she so much cherished

In front of him

She fell

She trembled

She crashed

And I never understood why my mother

Trapped herself with a man who wasn’t capable of giving her

Love and affection


She never had the strength to leave


My mother never showed me that of the motherly love

She showed me only



Utters of violence and neglect

The only things she knew

My mother never knew and will never know

How it’s like to be



And Loved

The only kind of affection that she knows

Comes in the form of



And beer bottles


I lived in my mother’s shadow

Because I was too guilty to feel deserving of more than what she had

I did not wish to experience

Neither love nor affection

Things my mother had lived her whole life


But eventually I knew

I couldn’t continue to live in her shadow

That wasn’t the way to understand her

I needed to be stronger for my mother

I wish to give my mother

The joy she never received

The pride she never used

The strength she never had


I see my mother’s crooked smile

Her heavy eyes and

For once

Guilt did not overcome me

And I

Walked out of her shadow




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