one day i will apologize to my mother

one day i will apologize to my mother
for how my therapist says her name
for the embarrassed distance i walked
from her in grocery stores as a teenager
for shrinking from her embrace
or for how i’ve wondered
what my patchwork childhood would have been
had my father married different.

one day i will apologize to my mother
for the seed i planted in resentment years ago
for my fear i will become her
for not telling her in her loneliness
have you seen? where your stitches end,
mine begin.

i am trying to love my mother
like she must have wanted to be
loved as a little girl. and god,
my mother needed love as a child
the world was vast and dark
and my mother did not want to show her light to anyone
it was shivering and small and she loved it
even when they encircled it and stomped it out with booted feet.

one day i will apologize to my mother
for my steel-toed boots
for her pictures she gave me which i burned
for not saying tomorrow or tomorrow or tomorrow
mama, did you know? in darkness,
i loved you best.

Emily Gustafson is a graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and has a dual degree in English and Media & Cultural Studies with a minor in Hispanic Studies. She is also an actor, playwright, and nonprofit arts professional living and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to one day i will apologize to my mother

  1. varjakBaby says:

    This hits my heart.

  2. Your poems published here this week have all been quite impressive. I hope there is more.

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