baird parent

MY MOTHER ASKED ME TO STOP WRITING ABOUT HER
 
  1
 
  When my best friend was a child,
  her mother used The Game of Life
  as a metaphor to explain sexuality.
 
  “You can have two pink guys
  or two blue guys, you know,”
she explained.
 
  My best friend is so straight,
  she doesn’t even masturbate.
 
  Still, she always knew that even
  if she wasn’t, even if someday she ended up
  shotgun to another pink piece,
 
  she would remain loved and supported.
 
  She wouldn’t have to ask for forgiveness.
  Of all the things she was taught to apologize for,
  love has never been one of them.
 
  2
 
  My mother doesn’t bring up my sexuality
  anymore. I think she is tired of arguing.
 
  She is sick of reading about her faults
  in my poetry. She hates my selective memory;
  how I only remember the sharp things,
  the slammed doors, the heavy whiskey.
 
  “I used to sing to you before bed
  every night,”
she reminds me icily.
  “but you must’ve forgotten that story.”
 
  Last week, she silently folded up her old flannels
  and placed them at the foot of my bed.
 
  I know this is probably just a coincidence,
  not a peace treaty or an attempt to understand me.
 
  But for my own well-being,
  I have to take this as a sign she is trying,
 
  even if it isn’t.
—  MY MOTHER ASKED ME TO STOP WRITING ABOUT HER, by Blythe Baird.