LIKE MY MOTHER

Written by: HELLEN MASIDO

My mother and I
We never get along
We argue
About everything-
My hair
My clothes
The dirty dishes
That I insist are not mine to wash-
When she rants
I shout back
My sisters tell me
I should let it go
This quarreling

I don’t

And most nights
I sleep angry at her
I plan words 
To tell her back
Tomorrow
When she begins 
Any quarrel

It hardly happens
How I envision it

When we wake up
We laugh together
Like we are the best of friends
A happy and lovely
Mother and daughter portrait

The illusion may last minutes
Or days
Before we take arms
And go for each other’s throats
Again and again and again

I don’t know how
We manage to live for so long
Hurting each other
So many times
Yet still laugh
Again and again and again

Maybe its blood
Because we are family
Because we’ve been through
So much together
We have bonds
Forged by fire
Like gold
And can never be broken

Still
It stays
This love- hate thing we have
My mother and I
We may be true blood
But for a fact I know
We shall never get along

And when I think
How much like enemies we are
It’s so strange yet true 
To admit
I want to be just like her

For when life is a bitch
And drags me up the wall
Till I scream
She is the one
From whom ii learn 
This concrete tough strength
To endure

I remember her laugh
Till tears fall from her eyes
And I wonder
How does she do that?

How dos she still smile
When she’s been hurt
So long
When she’s been cheated 
And insulted
And pushed up against the wall
For so, so long?

I know she does not forget
I see it in her eyes
Sometimes
I know she lives with her pain 
And how she laughs till tears drop
I don’t know how she does it

But I want to do it too
I want to be like her

I want to go to work
Even when I don’t have to
Or I don’t feel like it

I want to buy others gifts
When I should get myself
A chic costly shoe I truly deserve

To wash he dirty dishes
Even when my body aches and my cozy bed
Is the only place
I should be

I want to never tire
To share
What I have
Even with people
Who don’t give back?
O r say thank you.

I want to plant flowers
And nurture them
And watch them bloom
Beautifully
So that 
Even when my joys grow not
I shall find a little beauty
In the face
Of life’s ugliness

Like my mother does

And though I still think
She should change
And though we still
Never get along
And we will never
Kiss and make up
Deep inside me
Everyday of my life;
Though I will never tell her so
I want to be like her.