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Aug 2015
I was a child
maybe 4, or 5
swimming towards you in the pool
could never quite reach you
I was so angry
Mama, that's cheating
moved the finish line of your arms backwards until
I realized you would keep doing it, laughing just so
I would keep swimming
in the direction that you chose
it was always like that with you
never knew the truth of you until after it had hurt me

Grew up with such strong feelings,
strong emotions, smart mouth
screaming faces, your face, twisted up
your voice, sharp like an angry snarling dog
your hands like talons, gripping my sides
shaking me, shaking me
first you love me, then you hate me
held me when I was hurting
but you're the one that hurt me
so confused
Mama, you messed me up

drunk as punch on my own tears, staring
at the wall in my bedroom for the hundredth time
with the door shut, can't go out
it's been so many years since then
since the screaming and the crying and the
ugly senior pictures because you refused to let the braces come off, even when the dentist offered
made me cry and sent me alone into the photo booth,
choking back tears and applying extra makeup
2 years later my brother has
3 different sets of photos to my single sorry one
as if she knew how much it hurt to see the physical proof
of how much she couldn't stand me
how much she hated every ounce of freedom I had
how nothing meant anything unless
she could control it

I could have my own thoughts
but you had to agree with them
and you could have your own lies
but I had to agree with them
bruises, real bruises
and the ones on my heart
"you little *******" you called me
"going nowhere with your life"
"dressed on the corner like a *****" you said
about walking home in a bathing suit from the pool
yes, Mama, everything you say Mama
and I just couldn't do it and
I fought and clawed my way out of hell,
making sure you'd feel half the shame you brought upon yourself

the distance mended my soul, but
in the silence I still cried and was
so happy you couldn't tell me
how and when i should cry
so I just cried until it all ran out
and sat on a hill, free of you

Mama, you're getting older now and
you want to see me again and
Mama, I don't miss you
As hard as I try
I don't feel anything but
so so sorry for you
I don't feel love, I don't feel hate, I just feel
betrayed, and like you'll never change

Mama, you were an emotional wreck
from my first birthday to the day I walked out that door
Mama, there is sadness etched in
wrinkles on your face now
I fight the urge to do something, say something
Tugged forward and back like a never ending tide

But Mama, I don't want to go there
To the trail of tears
Sweetness from a distance
but the minute I share
an inch of my life, you're pulling at it like
a bird unraveling a tapestry to make its own nest
trying to consume control again
you can't just let it rest, you can't love me when I'm free
Mama, I'm so sorry but
you have to let me be
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