Brainwashed by the
pop culture notion
that parents never
understand their children,
that parents are
our first identified oppressors,
that parents are
meant to be rebelled against,
I spent most of my life
making those statements true.

Now, in early adulthood,
after a childhood spent
resenting the generational
expectation for a specific
sort of success, I realize
I only widened the gap between us
when I refused to accept
that they wanted to close it.

A twenty-something now,
not much money in my pocket,
I fear that my mother will have to work
on the assembly line
until arthritis ruins her wrists,
and I will have nothing to show
for the decades of labor
she has invested in my survival,
and the need to thrive
is no longer just
about me any more.

This, a thousand times multiplied,
must have been what my parents felt
holding me when I was a tiny,
pink bundle in their arms.

Life is cyclical;
it is my turn to worry.

2 thoughts on “motivation

  1. Nice narrative poem. Captures the angst of the moment, within context of so much more. And I like the last two lines very much:

    Life is cyclical;
    it is my turn to worry.


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