Kathrine Yets, Poetry

Weed of My Loins

It’s hard to focus when her subconscious is always looking for a mother.

What about the woman with the azalea bushes?

A feminine pink with a twisted trunk, bushy tops remind her

of her mother’s blouse, which she wore during her manic episode.

Run.

You know there’s a problem when she’s eating popsicles in the bathroom.

When the hair dryer’s cord isn’t wrapped and sprawled out near the sink.

Her mother doesn’t notice. Her mother has her own hair dryer.

Almost met the goal of never screaming like her mother.

2015, she locks herself in the bathroom and turns on the fan.

Looks in the mirror and wonders where she has been.

She screams.

In a world where Google is her mother, and she can’t judge a good cantaloupe,

she decides it’s best to give up on unconditional love, that thing with pink blooms

bursting open only with the seasons. With spring. Within the spring she was three years old

and her mother took her, foot on the gas, trying to save them from…

Maybe her father. From the dangers of loving too much or too little.

But they forgot about the sister. Forgot her and the mother had to turn.

To go to church. To find a pastor in wolves’ clothing. To find

you can’t run from love. That running from love meant she was crazy.

The daughters visited their mother in the mental hospital

surrounded by plumes of cigarette smoke.

Twenty years later, and she still hears her mother’s scream.

Remembers turning on the church bathroom fan by accident

and her mother screaming like knives. She cries and still asks on car rides

where are we going? where are we going? between deep breaths.

What is happiness to you? she keeps asking friends and strangers,

blowing cigarette smoke into the void of avoided answers.

She asks her mother even though she knows the answer:

driving in the car with her daughter, windows down, sun shining.

About the contributor

Kathrine Yets lives in West Allis, WI. She spends her nights as a closing librarian, who hides behind her desk reading and writing.

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