Mother’s Day: Raised Too Alone (by John Shore)


your mother

was caustic,






If she was irresistibly drawn

to making much too clear

that her unhappiness—

her pain,

her dysfunction,

her drama—

was more precious to her

than you could ever be,

so that as a child


had to live your life

frightfully and desperately


for whatever

corrupted version of love

you could squeeze from her,

then this Mother’s Day,

while others

(as you imagine; as we all imagine)

are basking in the warmth

of their exemplary mothers,

you close your eyes,

and say a prayer

for two mothers:

the one you never had,

and the one she never had.

And then say a loving prayer

for yourself,

for the child

raised too alone.

And then open your eyes—

and there is the world,

beautiful again.

Uncorrupted again.


fuck ’em.

Fuck ’em all.

Because you are still here,

and you are not done yet.

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