Subtext (Maxine Beneba Clarke)

Posted on July 20, 2010 by in Heightened Talk

 

when we say i don’t want to become my mother
that isn’t an invitation to laugh
thinking about your mother in law
& maybe the way she talks too loud or
repeats herself when she gets excited
or maybe you hate that somehow
your children love her / more
than they do you / cz men
usually don’t understand that to their child
that woman is their mother
there is no distinction

if you listened to us you wd hear / that
when we say i don’t want to become my mother
what we are really saying is i want to be
like my mother never had the chance to be
or maybe even i want to be like my dadda
never let her be / or even understood she was

listen hard / cz when we say i will not
become my mother
what we are really saying is
i will leave you if you buy me a big square house
in the burbs / & especially if you present it to me
like we’re a match made in heaven
we are saying who are you &
do you even know who i am
what we are really saying is as bad a mother
as you may think i am for it
my children are just my children
& not my dreams

i woulda been about seven
first time i saw my mother on stage
it took me seven years / to
realise who she was
when i say i don’t want to be
like my mother
what i am really saying is
i am my mother’s dreams / i can’t afford to fail
she was our mother & loved that
bt damn / y’know / this woman
she coulda really been something

when i say i will not become my mother
what i am really saying is
i am going to be / i will be / i am
what my mother was
before the world and his dog
told that girl to stop
& i am saying if you love me
then when i say i will not become my mother
listen / & be fucking smart about it

 

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