top of page

When I Say I Am My Mother's Daughter

Updated: Mar 14

I mean that we were born of the same


Her mother is my grandmother, and we are the same shade of tan.

I mean that I hold a paper heart in iron ribs,

mean thoughts in a mesh skull.

I mean that I never cried when I was younger, and

she taught herself how to read.

I mean that I never have enough patience. I always want more.

[My mother is twenty-two when she goes to donate blood. The needle sucks the life out of

her, and she walks back home light-headed. The world spins. She smiles because she feels for

the first time in years.

I am seven when my mother bleeds. We’re in a new country,

and I don’t know how to work the phone.

My voice quavers when I tell her I don’t want a dead mom.

I love you, I’m sorry, please stay.

My mother smiles at me like I’m too young to understand, but I’ve always known. There isn’t

enough love or blood in the world to make someone stay when they’ve made up their mind

to leave.