You taught me silence
How to step out of battles
For you saw no other way
Taught me that life
Can only be lived in a box
Can exist without a touch
Me – for all my death and darkness –
Was showered with gifts and cards
But no poetry was read in the house
For minds aren’t meant to be understood
Mothers and daughters come in shapes
In the shape of a tear
Or the unforgiving page of a diary
Does your fear and my longing have a shape?
What did she teach you?
The reality of womanhood?
The lack of wings?
Or the desperation of an ambition?
Did you laugh as a child?
Have friends you’d fly for?
A Sister you’d die for?
Were you lonely in your mind?