Mother-Daughter Dyad: A Collection of Poems

Found Poetry from My Mother's Journals & Response Poem

I Am Your Mother (found)

I am your mother

And I must tell you,

You are starting to smile a little


I must tell you,

You have helped

Make my world so beautiful.

I must tell you,

All any of us

Can do,


And all the time,

Is remember

The past is the


And I can’t change


I must tell you,

My only child,

Nothing is more


Than you.

I must tell you,

Now my future can

Be bright.


Drinking (found)


Three drinks while they

Were gone.

My life and drinking,

Once again,

Out of control.

It’s a horrible thing

I don’t write because

I can’t stand you.

And I think I was

A good mother,

But all you remember

Is my drinking.

Once again,

Now, and all the time,

This hurts so much.

Bad Night (found)

Bring up a lot of pain, shame, and guilt,

That hurts so much.

Thirty days is not enough, for me,

Trying to escape my life and neglecting you,

And floating in the store, it’s hard

To make decisions, because this is such

A happy time for us, and I thought

Three drinks, once again, it’s a horrible

Thing. I thought something and then,

In front of her, I ripped him, I told her

She is not to blame. He says “just get out”

But this is such a happy time for us.

Not really crying and not really feeling,

Now I’m writing this, and don’t you see

What you’re doing to her?

Outside my own body, and my left hand

Tingling, and I’m pulled back in, like I’m

Snapped back, took a Trazedone,

Worried-sweet. And I am never so still,

 But just still and floating and feeling

The tears fall down my face. Sadness.

Now I am writing this.

These thoughts my mind doesn’t want

To talk about certain things or think about

Certain things, and it’s hard to compose

Myself, blames Jack, anxiety out of control,

A bad night, and I tried to leave, but Calyn

Became almost hysterical,

Shecame and took my hand, led me to

The couch.

She is not to blame.

She is different.

Farewell (found)

What can I say?

Because of you I stayed


For as long as I did.

And it is none of your fault

My darling,

My only child,

So special to me.

What can I say?

Do not be sad.

Just know my pain is no longer

After years and years

Of torment.

And what can I say?

Always be with me

My darling,

Live your life to the

Fullest my darling.

I am so sorry my darling.

What can I say?

I finally saw the light.

Now my future can be bright.

Never So Still (found)

I’m never so


Gotta sleep now-

Need to rest,




But now I’m

Writing this and

It’s hard to make


And I’m not really


Not really


I’m never so


Don’t you see

What you’re doing

To her?

But I told her

She is not to blame.

But I told them

They do not


That this is such

A happy time

For us.


My Child (found)

She started her shit

And pouty face

And I refused to hug


Because I felt like her slave.

My only child

Sospecial to me.

“Just get out” he says,

I can’t do this anymore.

But I don’t want to miss out

On anymore.

A lot of pain,

A lot of shame,

A lot of guilt.

I was a good mother but

I didn’t realize,

The effect my drinking had

On you.

Another Life to Remember (found)

I should know better,

How you look up at me and say,

“You’re teasing me mommy,”

Adamant and demanding,

Just life’s little changes.

Our first “spring” weather,

Uncommon cold weather,

Now, and all the time, you beat me

Down- adamant and demanding-

And you’re only nine years old.

I must have been drinking, difficulties,

More than one time.

My darling, you are old enough now

That you will remember:

Remember your life, remember

You told me most nights I got home

And you were already in bed, remember

You told me you rarely saw me, remember

DUI and jail and Mother’s day, remember

This year, my life, Daddy asked me to leave.

Upset with me, I hate the distance between

Us and you tell me I’m a horrible mother,

That you don’t have a mother.

But I want to become a better

Mother, sister, wife, friend.

I’m sorry I haven’t been.


 (Done in response to my Mother's Journals)

As Usual, It’s Been Too Long

One night to remember and one to forget

The fights and shouts and tears ripped from

The inside-out of our minds and hearts and

That day I can’t forget or remember when

I walked through that door, so many faces

All upon my own, how did I look, unknown

To the news that licked the fate of my birth

Of the existence we each take hold when we

Open our eyes, and the tears that fall from

These big blue eyes, blue like you and dad,

Blue like the sky you rose into that day,

And blue like the metaphorical feeling

We put on sadness that makes us feel

Intune with ourselves and those around us

To identify our emotions as something else

Like a color or two and one two my life

Is turned upside down and you were here

Just yesterday and there you stood and

Here we sat and ate a meal together

One last time.

And you laughed and left and nothing else

Was said and had I known, oh had I known,

This was it, this was the moment I could say

How much I love you and will miss you

And how good a mother you were,

How good a person you were

And how your demons don’t define you

And never did define you

And never could define you

And never will define you.

You say you wish you could reach inside

My adult self and pull me back to

Six years old.

Well I’ll tell you I wish I could pull you

Down from the stars you dance on

So I can hold you here, hold you down so

Maybe, maybe, maybe,

You just couldn’t leave again.

And one word, one single word, could that

Have changed everything? Could that keep

You on the ground here and stop the chaos

That would ensue, that did pursue, that did

Conclude a memory of another time,

A book we pretend is closed but so open

Because every day I see your face and think

Of that last time I saw you and think

Of how you saw me.

Adamant and demanding. Mom.

Every day I wonder if you’re proud,

If you forgive me and what I’ve done.

Do you see what I’ve done?

Do you see what I did?

My body can’t manifest the strength to

Explain the pain that followed and

Preceded such a thing,

And my mind contorted the world around

Me to be misled and wrong and I was

Slowly dying too, I was slowly seeping

Away from everything because maybe I

Could be somewhere else too.

I watch it melt out from the bowl

And cry with my head in his lap and

The world around me is blurry because

I can’t see anymore, nothing seems right,

Like it’s sideways and upside-down and

Any second now you’ll pull your car around

And this won’t be a gathering to tell me

That you died.

That you planned it out and went home

From our home and took a pill for

Anxiety and took a few more to kill

The pain and took a drink from Jack

And swigged a little back in your throat

Oh mother, the writing on the wall says

It all and the writing in your journals is the

Code, and I deciphered it all, and

No one knows I know.

Anxiety can bring a tide upon our doubt

And push the thoughts of hope from our

Minds so feeble and weak to the pills

We take to make our minds numb and our

Heads stable, to keep ourselves awake and

Aware and the chemicals balanced.

Jack for me and Jack for you,

But nothing else can undo the

Writing on these papers, your hand was

Still because these letters are crisp,

The writing legible and fine, to a T,

You knew, when did you know?

How could you say?

Mother daughter dyad is sickness

And I am infested and always will be

With the truth that lies behind the words

Of a suffering woman, of a woman

I see when I look in the mirror and

Am told others miss like I can control

The fate that brought us here and shape

The way things appear and transparent

Tears are the only solace in a world of

Faces turned away at the sight of selfless

News and bearing weight upon the shoulders

Of strangers in chairs with PhDs and

Pharmaceuticals with prescriptions to make

The days a little easier, to bear the weight

With which we give the light of day and

Breathe in sadness, exhale joy, one time

And only this time I can say:

I lost myself along the way, the day I

Lost you, and I didn’t find myself until

Today, the day my eyes opened wide to the

Sound of clear skies and I could breathe

In my health, put back the meat to my bones

And eat the fruit that is grown,

Because for so long I dragged along

The baggage of a thousand years of torment

And tears that ragged inside my body like

Living hell and fire licking my tongue as

I lashed out at everyone I loved.

I couldn’t see the ground in front of me

And walked with my eyes closed because

I didn’t know. And falling to the ground

with one, two, three steps and my mind

Reeling to the song of blood gushing in my

Ears like angels playing trumpets to my

Slowing heart. I couldn’t stand and yet

An IV was nothing to me, a hospital

A piece of me, the doctors a life I grew

And knew and it seemed to be a different

Memory of a time where I couldn’t breathe

And my mouth was cotton and I was lost

In black and white, colors gone again when

You shut out your lights. Sixty nine was

The number I hit and bounced back to the

Top of it, sinking low in this sinking ship.

Disappointment on the faces around me,

a thousand sighs like the wind that blows me

Over when I stand still, and my body

Was slowly dying, eating away at the

Cornerstone of hopeless and anxiety

And clinical depression is a thing

Along with anorexia nervosa and

Posttraumatic stress disorder and

Anxiety attacks every day and

Crying on the floor while your dad walks

Away and the sound of little feet staring at

You like an idol of sorts but you feel out of

Sorts and you know you’re not well.

The world cold and yet barely alive

You still strive to survive.

I can’t say I know much about living

And dying but my life has been much of

The two for being twenty and I’m told

I should be going to more weddings

Instead of crying over the urn my mom

Rests in. It’s a sad sort of thing to sit and

Cry because not a day goes by I don’t smile

And thank my feet for keeping me grounded

When the rest of me floated away

When my mother left that day.

And to put a cherry on top, my family

Is nuts, my aunt is on number seven

And planned a wedding the day before

The anniversary of the day I remember

To forget. No one puts flowers on the graves

But my father and I. No one cares about

close ties, only if you cry, and my aunt

She sat next to me with number six and

Cried on my shoulder when my eyes were

Dry as rocks and I’m in shock to think she

Could pretend to comfort me and lie and

It’s just so easy to despise the kind of people

That will smile in your eyes and

Put a shiv through your ribs

At the very same time.

And my mother left that day on a cloud

Of Trazedone and Jack gone down the

Same tube, in a word, and rested their heads

And caused a disturbance and when they

Found her she was dead.

And my father ran to her apartment that day

When she didn’t pick up her phone and on

Her door he pounded and 911 come quick.

But too late, all was done, it wasn’t a bullet

From a gun but a bullet of sorts from a bottle

And a neck of scotch. And on the counter

In the kitchen sat a paper simply written:

“I know you’re here,” and that’s all it said,

Words coming from the dead,

And daughter of the mother be

In school learning her vocabulary and

Her sister picks her up instead, she’s told

Father is busy, something happened, she

Doesn’t know, but she’s bluffing. In the car,

Zooming home to a place where kids play

And roam and unbeknownst to fourteen me,

We go home and in my throat I know, like

My mind is telling me don’t go, no, no,

But open up the door so wide and tears

Streaming from each and every eye of these

People I thought I knew all around my house.

And my father tells me he has some news,

mother overdosed and I thought

So what, of course she lives this story out.

But daughter, no, so naïve, mother is gone,

Now come and grieve.

And aunt comes over

as I cry to my dad and bends down to me

with her hands in my hand and her eyes look

at me and I can’t look away and she asks me

again, “Do you want to pray?”

And my heart’s in my throat and my mind

Is long gone, all the noise of the world has

Disappeared to the sound of my own

internal fears. And I look right at her and

In all pain and might, my voice is a weapon

to knock these pegs down. “No.” Her face is

So still. Did I hurt her feelings?

I have other things to take care of, like my

Body and mind, because before I know it

I’m dying and my body is deteriorating

Inside. That was six years ago, and yet

To this day I fight with myself over

Mentality. Yet I can stand on my own, my

Body is strong, my fortitude right and my

Self-worth has grown and I can see a future

Of brightness and warmth. Someday, and

Sometime I’ll come out of this war.

I was born for this battle, as my mother

Was before, yet she knew it was tough, and

Took her life before she lost. And I am so

Self-aware of my ability to fall down the

Same path my mother struck out, but

My backbone is straight, and straighter it

Grows, so my mother can see me and smile

From the grave upon her darling daughter

Who grew up that one day.