For Sangeeta Dixit
I am the mother of sorrows; I am the ender of grief;The Paradox, Paul Dunbar
Flaring red carpet of regrets, hates, horrors, spites, rage, hurts, distrust, compulsions, expectations, pain, bravery and love on which I sleep every night and walk every day for my sons. As soon as the dawn breaks with a sickening sound of the neighbors’ damn water motor pump, I grit my teeth to demonstrate protest alone on my bed—the carpet since he split after kissing goodbye to his sons, my sons, the younger is studying and the older is sleeping. Now as I walk to his bed my feet hurt, when did I get so old so deteriorated and slow? I take his name, shout so he would wake up and study– make his mark in the big world before he gets old and slow like me. Here I go, singing my song. As I walk on this flaring carpet, I’m their mom and I know what’s best and I’m not wrong. He bellows back at me, “Good morning to you too, Mom!” Triggered, with a taste as sour as vinegar in my mouth, I go in head first, never thinking about what I say hurts us both. I don’t know why we’re always fighting, especially when his father doesn’t trust us both. That just drives us even farther, I beat my son. As I poison myself with hatred, placing all the blame on him— trying to get my son to conform and stop dreaming his life away. Moments later, he sees me crying in the washroom. As I’m beating our dirty wet laundry with the paddle— I’m stubborn, I hate myself, I see him standing at the door I see his eyes, my eyes, I don’t hate myself, maybe stubborn but I still find myself beautiful because I am his mom. He comes to me and hugs me tight. I do my best to raise them both— I make delicious dishes to please, I keep their rooms clean, and I assure them they’re safe under my protection, as I devise escape routes out of my own house when the sleep won’t come at nights. I care enough to follow them to the edge of the world and be there, even if I can’t help them in their cause or even when I know that their cause’s wrong, even then, I’m willing to die and kill for them. Now as I cry on his shoulder, sweet smell of the aftershave same as his fathers’. He’s so much like him. I tightly hold him in my wet and tired arms and for a moment I don’t feel that overwhelming sorrow of the carpet beneath my feet, it and the floor under us has melted with an overload of love.
© M. Jay Dixit, September heart-to-hearts, 2021 All Rights Reserved
I had my last share of beating when I was nine or ten–I don’t even remember why.
Because of the nature of my father’s job, he’s away most of the time, nowadays he comes home and stays in for 2 weekends every month. My mom and my little bro and I stay in our little home. Needless to say, I love them all very much and they all love me. The poem is fictional but like all good fiction, it is also inspired by the truth and the woman at the center of this poem is very dear to my heart.
Take care, ❤
Posted over at dverse: Poetics, Beyond Meaning or The Resolution of Opposites Prompt: To select one of the given lines from Paul Dunbar’s Paradox and build a poem around it.