Interior Motives

Mother lives in me –
her hopes and fears
now embodied
in my choices,
this guilt borne
of her suffering…

and her mother –
who laboured often
with unwelcome toil,
her only respite
widowhood –
it’s her legacy
I bear.

Potential –
who once appeared
with all the radiant
charm of youth,
exists within, also,
although our connection –
drowned out by the banter
of those gone before –
lacks substance.

I remember how
we used to sing –
hearts joyful,
full of daring.

How even in the face
of rigidity, we raised
our voices, dreamed

Now, both distracted –
I, shaking off fragments
of Mother’s hapless life,
extracting splinters
of a grandmother
destined to woe;

glances away,
forlorn as
a forgotten child,

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

12 thoughts on “Interior Motives”

  1. I felt a sense of bitterness and anger, like wanting to break out of a cage and run. Relating on both sides of my family. Potential lives in all of us but we need societal context, culture, relationships, resources to support individual growth. Unless you’re a dandelion; we live in a dandelion world.

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  2. Powerful poem. I believe we carry previous generations with us but I never thought about the meeting of these interior motivations with potential. I love the language – so many good lines.

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  3. At least you’ve acknowledged Potential’s presence … first step toward a warm embrace?
    Really strong poem – stirs up questions I’ve had all my life about my mother’s mother.

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    1. Someone told me once that we are not our parents, but our grandparents – that the patterns skip a generation. I often think of the life she lead – nothing like the dreams she held for herself.

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