Mama Never Told Me
Lyrics from Spring Awakening
Mama who bore me
Mama who gave me
No way to handle things
Who made me so sad.
I typed a curse in a chat tonight
For the first time in 17 years and 6 months
And I looked at the word and read it over
Once, twice, three times.
Did I really write that?
Nobody ever taught me
How to be angry,
And curse and rage.
No, the bleeding middle-aged man
On the t-shaped pieces of wood
Wouldn’t allow that.
“But the greatest of these is love”
Guess the rest of the world didn’t get the memo.
And now angry words form at my lips, dash across my mind.
The ends to the means.
Who the hell am I?
I wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Mama, the weeping
Mama, the angels
No sleep in Heaven
They told me she was fifty-four
Small streaks of age beginning to peek out
From behind hair the color of snickerdoodles
Hands that always smelled of cinnamon
With bits of sugar stuck behind the nails
Always baking for the kids she never had.
They said she had creases
Around the corners of her lips
Where she had plastered on a smile
Small smudges of mascara
Made her white face two-toned
From when she cried when no one was looking.
They mentioned she was a strong woman
Drove her husband out
When his fists became too much to bear
Took the shotgun and ran him straight out the door
No, she wasn’t crazy
They whispered that I could’ve called her mom
Held her hand when she walked through
The nursing home door
Brushed the hairs that fell out
As the sickness slowly took pieces of her away
And seen her with the last dying breath.
But no one could tell me
Why she spent thirty-eight years
Of never wanting me.
Hannah Loo, Age 17, Grade 12, Hunter College High School, Silver Key