Nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Ingrid Wilson, Editor and Owner of EIF, Experiments in Fiction. This poem is in my debut poetry collection, “Three Penny Memories: A Poetic Memoir”, which opened on Amazon as the #1 Release in Family Poetry. Since then it has been on and off the best-seller list in three categories.
I realize many are nominated for Pushcart Prizes, making my chances slim to zero, but I’m going to enjoy each present moment and not worry about outcomes. After all, I’m 71, a late bloomer. I’ve written for years but allowed my job to dominate my life because teaching English to international students was so engaging and fulfilling. Also, I helped my aging parents, especially Mom in her later years. Hence, my poetry collection about our relationship throughout life and my caregiving while she navigated Alzheimer’s.
Like many mothers and daughters, Mom and I were either in dance or in flight. Our lives were intricately woven together in striking ways. Because I was the oldest daughter and second oldest, I was her main helper with all her babies. She had 7 kids, and because she nearly died after her last child, I became a surrogate mommy at age 9. The youngest called me MaMa before he called Mom by that name. I think that set up a kind of competition between Mom and me.
We each had our Mother Wounds. With the last baby, Mom had to have a hysterectomy to save her life. Later in my life, I had to have a hysterectomy to save mine from the cancer scare caused by the diethylstilbestrol (DES), which Mom was prescribed when I was in utero. DES made me infertile. While Mom had seven, I had none. My being childless seemed to bother Mom, so she shamed me once for that even though she knew the DES ruined my reproductive system. Her remarks deepened my Mother Wound.
This poem is also about abandonment, another facet of the Mother Wound. Mom always said that her mother neglected her to the point that as a 3-year-old, Mom would ride all over town in her tricycle. In contrast to her mother, Mom was attentive to her children. While Mom was “motherless”, I rarely felt neglected by Mom in my formative years.
My poetry book is deeply personal, but I feel that this love story may help others. I’ve created several posts about my book that you can explore. Many readers have shared their own stories with me.
What we repress becomes a burden. Maya Angelo writes, “There is no greater burden than bearing a story untold.” And Carl Jung said that what we repress, we project out as anger. And anger shows itself in many ways: fear, guilt, and shame. What we reveal we heal.
And now I share with you, “Mom and I Play Lassos with Our Hysterectomy Scars”.