April 10 Poetry Challenge Daughterland, Part 2

” We have been wounded by it (giving)” –Alberto Rios

Giving: What it Takes

My car door slammer,
my you-don’t-get-it-you’re-too-old,
my you-should-be-home-making-cookies
my you-promised-me-you-guys-wouldn’t-split-till-i-was-out-of-the-house

My Daughter.

Full of intensity and scowl
Full of cat eyes and hoop earrings
Looking for that fight
In a red dress too tight
and sneakers to run

Looking just like me.

You never wanted me, she says.
The words leave her lips and
I watch as they fly through the air
hip pistol air
shot through to my heart if she could aim
I duck and swerve, duck and swerve
Still a couple of those shots always get through

I tell her her mama was about choices
Plenty of potential went unbirthed
A mother of choices, a mother of invention
A mother of not needing to be a mother at all
A mother not born of social conditioning.

I chose you. I choose you.
I did not have to and I gave you life.
The way one goddess births another.

She’s quiet for a moment
Looks for wisdom outside the passenger window
The rocks and the river below us
pushing and shaping the landscape.
The wildness reminding so much can change
in an moment of weakness, of inexperience.
You can slip and lose your footing.
You can wash away.

She reaches over to me. Touches my hand
with hers.
In this moment, this is all we have.

About Margaret Elysia Garcia

Margaret Elysia Garcia is the author of short story ebook collection Sad Girls and Other Stories, and the audiobook Mary of the Chance Encounters, and the co-founder and lead playwright of Las Pachucas, theatrical troupe. She teaches creative writing and theatre in a California state prison.
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