a mother’s love

I can’t tell if I’m swallowing the lump in my throat
or my food
and I can’t tell if the lump will end up on my thighs
or my heart
because the thing is
the thing you don’t understand
(you never listen)
is you did this
you hurt me
you hurt me again
until I mistook the pain for how it was
for how a mother loves
and a wife tries

see I’m missing something
I don’t think I ever had
I’m missing smiles and words and sounds
I’m missing touch
I’m missing smell
and I’m missing love

you abandoned me
too hard
too much work
you sit there
watching me
refusing to answer as
I cry, begging for your words, for you heart
you like it when I beg

who taught you
that a child’s pain
could be dismissed so easily?
did someone watch you cry?
did someone laugh or
stare at you with dead eyes
mock your pain and call you a gorilla
who taught you this was right?

I don’t understand
and I try not to care
I hold it in
till it pours out like so much
until it burns my hands
and I need to hurt
to channel the pain
and I lash out

and then you like to say
how I hurt you
how I hurt my mother
how I hit her
this 400 pound gorilla
who’s friends with her dad
as if friendship

made me