This is not a poem about my father.
Were you abused?
By a caregiver?
Your mother or your father?
Tell me about your father.
Tell me about your mother.
My mother, likes saltines
Cherries. My mother,
American Beauty sings amazing grace
so sweet the sound, to the radio
windows rolled down honda accord
on the way home from my weekly prayer healer.
My mother cries I am healed.
I cry- I don’t know why I cry.
I hold our tornado flashlight
We dig up daylilies by the ice cream parlor
Behind the taekwondo place. They break skunkweed.
My mother tells me, wisely : You cannot steal, what’s technically
free. We tell the neighbors we bought the flowers at full-price at Lowes
We tell the neighbors, a lot of things.
Before, my mother
taught me how to keep flowers
so sweet the sound ziploc lies,
ignoring pants pulled down she
never did let us eat our food
I hold her purse.
My mother says she loves the poor.
My mother loves saying she loves the poor.
My mother demands I wear only children’s clothes at age 15
And is proud when I still fit into them.
There’s rumor here:
My mother has fake teeth
That woman has a perm.
The neighbors dog isn’t fixed and
someone’s hurting the Iacoponi girls
And then there’s a rumor
Started by my mother,
Is the only chance
Silk scarves. My mother,
I scream for her to lock the back door
And am surprised when she lets the wolf in the front.
Cris Iacoponi is a 22 year old poet in Philadelphia, PA. She writes on surviving- past and present, trauma, mental illness, and all the good juicy gossip you expect from your local queer poetry. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.