My mother is a poem I’ll never be able to write

momI share with my mother a profound love of beautiful things, gorgeous fragrances, an obsessive appreciation for visual arts and the written word, and a fascination with the mystical and arcane. From her, I also received some decidedly unlovely things: soul-deep self-esteem issues, heaps of childhood trauma, and what I think of as our family’s ancestral depression, which some are marked with more than others, but we all suffer from it.

My mother died in 2013 (or was it 2014? It’s getting harder to remember and this both scares and saddens me.) I am no longer as angry with her as I once was. And to be honest, more than anything else, now I just miss her. You did the best you could, Elaine. I’m doing my best, too.

I just read something so sharp and true, it cleaved my heart clean in two.

My mother is a poem
I’ll never be able to write,
though everything I write
is a poem to my mother.

― Sharon Doubiago

I hope I’m making you proud, mom. I used to feel that was a weird and fraudulent longing, but I now know it is not. It’s the truest thing, and it always has been. Every word I have ever written has been, in some way or another, for you.

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