The Things a Mother Will Do to a Child

The Things a Mother will do to a Child                                

At Chinese restaurants you sit across from me
because you fear the bottom of my shoe
touching your jeans. 
On your bed, you let the dog, Patches, walk on you
like Moo Shoo Pork on pancakes
and you only laugh. 
When I am arriving late
to eat Calzones and artichokes, 
you call me fifty plus times to make sure I am okay.
 
I call you, your own you, when you pick pieces of hair
away from you head, like a woman diagnosed with trichotillomania; 
but you are ridden of anxiety bound diseases
because you fear the doctor, 
like you fear airplanes, red meats, and inconsistency. 

If I was to leave this country, for Spain or India, 
for discovery and growth, 
your first thought would be kidnapping or death,
drowning in a canal near Madrid.
You must have forgotten I learned to swim before I walked, 
your relation to my dream of marine biology and pediatrics. 

The students and the morticians, the landscapers and the accountants,
know me like you tell me, not how I am. 
How I am agnostic, impure, messy, 
how I burn my eggs at eleven in the morning, 
and laugh at tasteless jokes at twelve, 
how I believe in the fight for abortion, gay rights, and gun control.
You’re a republican; you love me.
 
With brown eyes singing Oats, Beets, Beans and Barley Grows
you speak about my guitar playing mastery, 
like Billy Boy and Streets of Laredo were excellence. 
You speak of a scholarship like perfection, 
of normality like beauty.  

Sometimes you ask me if the Pope is Catholic, 
if college is just all suntan lotion and whistles. 
I tell you, like a female praying mantis after sex, I’m strong, 
and you tell me, like bats in eighth months of hibernation, 
I am not ready to be a mother
or a democrat.   
 

- © Lara Ann Frazier