Prospect (n.)

Just the prospect of you
is enough to send me spiraling down
into this beautiful maze of unending ‘what if’s’


Mother was unforgiving.
Says she loves me
through words that cut
like a jagged knife.

Says she sees herself
in the way I walk
so she warns me I will
stumble the way she’d done.

‘Straighten your back’,
she hisses from between
tightly clenched teeth
and a counterfeit smile.

‘Nobody will see lanky
in a child of mine.
I forbid you
to be so disinclined.’

You hear these words
so often as a child,
you construct this
miscontrued version of love.

Mother, see,
I am not like you,
but I am your daughter.
I am so much more.
Like you say I am.
Let me learn
to please me,
not you or men.
Mother, please,
will you ever see,
these bruises
and scars
were not from
falling down?
These transcripts
on my soul are
from your words
that leave me

[disclaimer: this is not about my mother. but it is someone else’s parent. it is real and it is heartbreaking.]