hey mom

by Carla O., 14

Hey mom, I can see the hard work from the blisters on your hands
Hey mom, I can hear your grunts when you stand
When you stand to pop the hood of our beat-up car just to get me to school
Like a jewel who’ll shine, mom, you are my fuel
It’s so cruel how the world has treated you
Because you treat me like your world as you twirled me upon your back
Don’t worry mom, now that you’ve lifted me up, my boots won’t get dirty from that mud

I can see it in the eyes of others, my sisters and brothers
They’re so wrong, you’re so strong for us when you sing this easing bird’s song
It’s hard to stay calm, mom
Your back aches from carrying five children, not just for their sakes
And I worry
You continue on strong for a life, long,
Even if my dad’s leave caused no grief
My heart wept, and became adept
Suffering in silence
Although it hurts me, for now
I’ll get over it, somehow
I was thrown to the dirt, but I know you’ll never desert me like he did, mom
Even if I can’t guarantee I will make it
You will always be there for me

Hey mama, thank you for always believing in me
For congratulating me
For being a strong woman, mom
I’ll miss you when I’ll have to say goodbye, mom

Hey mom,
I love you.
Red Bank, New Jersey