Beatitudes of My Mother: IX of Infinite Parts

by Bethel S. Moges

I. O mom

I’m sorry

I’m so so sorry


I wear my mother’s gold

around this short neck she gave me

these dainty wrists

of ours

gold around my slender fingers

this ring from her church auction

my mother’s gold in this strange nose only we have,

our deeper-on-the-right-side wide-set grin

both sets of my cheeks from my mama

my mother’s gold in this chocolate clear complexion

curls she spent her life combing

her life washing

her life braiding

I hold my mother's gold when I travel,

introduce myself to new people,

embrace the ones I love,

She gives her gold, my mother,

as if it were a thing from which she is made.

I've come into a good deal.

Generational wealth.

III. How terrifying the thought

of protecting my mother.

I want(ed), so badly, to be woman;

ready and present in all things.

But this:

considering the mother, understanding the father?

I suppose there is, indeed, no way to prepare for parenthood.

                                                                                                               I was, aren’t we are all, bound to repeat them,

                                                                                                               hurt and be hurt by          


                                                                                                               so why not me

                                                                                                               e tu?



Those things I adore most about myself

and those I decry

are reflections of you

V. To be a “good mother”, it seems, is always to be punishable.


How many times have I sobbed

in your lap

In. Con.


for the wretched daughter I have been?

And you, amused.

I do not understand your depths.



unsolicited fruit salads and advice,

“You are a woman with a future; wear gloves when you wash the dishes.”


In the history of humanity and Divinity and cosmos

What grace has this been,

To be born unto you?

IX. My superpowers include:

asking my mother to pray for you.


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