why would i listen to you now

how could i listen to you now
i can’t come to you for advice
you’ve been dead ten years

at 20 i could disregard you push you away
you were losing reality
anger in your soul said shocking words
none had heard you utter in a lifetime of piety and sweetness
bitterness and spite wore away memories

at 13 i pushed you away
your stern sanctimony your attempt to save my ever-lasting soul
you pulled me to my knees and asked if i had accepted
Our Lord Jesus Christ as my savior
i ran frightened by your fervor

at 5 i pushed you away
a mother-woman married to a man who
suddenly and thoughtlessly cut short my childhood
i should not blame you for what you did not know
but how could you be a mother and not stop him

if i strip away my self and my memories
you were a good friend and a better mother
raising marvelous sons
where there was no future
with a husband too early old
in a place and time that damaged your body

i do not disregard
your experiences
your worn hands and face
however i wish i had known you unbowed

i would ask you how you were able to survive
i would ask you why i cannot hold my life together
i can hear you a voice of weary practicality
who told you life was easy
figure it out on your own

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