Napo 15: My Mom


Becoming My Mother’s Daughter


My mother: Zeus.

My mother: the god of our house,

Ruling with a mixture of love and ferocity.

My mother, a thunderclap headache

Lying on the sofa. My mother, holding

Her head in her hands in helplessness.

My mother, screaming out in pain

Some Saturday mornings,

Tuesday afternoons,

Sundays, her Olympus ruled

By the whims of these rainstorms

That rolling in off her skull.


My mother, shaking the earth

In my bones. My mother, one eye

Drooping. My mother, a grimace

On her face. My mother, grinning

And bearing it. My mother, the bolt

Of her gaze at any peep or light

Filling the living room, opening

Her pain like a raincloud. My mother,

Begging for a wedge, a hammer,

The splitting open.


I am my mother’s daughter, now—

I sprung forth from this, her wisdom.

I realize this, supine on the sofa,

My own Olympus awash in the aura

Of another hemiplegic afternoon.