Of Mothers and Daughters

I invited fog into my brain.

A fog that cancels years.

Barricades and damage control.

Everything that moves I must halt.

I would pretend unawareness.

Be a mother to only one child.

I would throw my own sex on the pyre.


I remember her cruel hands.

The puppet bones creaking beneath

The rigorous flesh.

The mouth that can’t tell right from wrong.

I thought she would rock me to death.

If all women are like her

I will never find reconciliation amongst them.


I would grow to abhor their barbarism.

That we share our anatomy.

That she gave me life, a woman in love with decay.

I would flee into the arms of men.

I trusted my parental figures to show me the whole world.

And I sought love blindly.

I idealised the first man who smiled at me.


I remember how my mother victimised my father.

She never found freedom in her self-exile.

Instead of harming herself she objectified others.

Silence became a sickness in my spine.

Bashing her, bashing my sex, in my mind, liberation.

I became complicit in my own demise.

Siding with the man I chose. And my world fell apart.


I couldn’t trust either of my parents.

Who did they portray?

And who am I?

I would never find my way back into womanhood.

I had guilted it into death.

I still had my body, emptied, speechless, chastised.

I dedicated my life to the loathing of men and women.


Nothing would remain.

I set my life on fire with decades ahead of me.

I grew comfortable in my own misery.

I gave life to her and thought I was continuing the vicious circle.

I felt the power that my mother must have had.

And what would I do with it? This girl in my belly, my hands?

I had carried her in my absent body.


I could free myself of all the vices, the poison.

I saw her as a vessel, untarnished, ready to receive like I received.

She was a part of my mother too.

I embraced the scent of revenge.

Helplessness, girlhood, the body a blank page.

And I would gloat over my victory.

Favouring my son and belittling my daughter, becoming the puppeteer myself.


“Woman with a Turquoise Medal” by József Rippl-Rónai (1861-1927)

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