a poem for my mother

“There’s a phrase, “the elephant in the living room”, which purports to describe what it’s like to live with a drug addict, an alcoholic, an abuser. People outside such relationships will sometimes ask, “How could you let such business go on for so many years? Didn’t you see the elephant in the living room?” And it’s so hard for anyone living in a more normal situation to understand the answer that comes closest to the truth; “I’m sorry, but it was there when I moved in. I didn’t know it was an elephant; I thought it was part of the furniture.” There comes an aha-moment for some folks – the lucky ones – when they suddenly recognize the difference.”   –  Stephen King

“To those who abuse: the sin is yours, the crime is yours, and the shame is yours. To those who protect the perpetrators: blaming the victims only masks the evil within, making you as guilty as those who abuse. Stand up for the innocent or go down with the rest.”   –  Flora Jessop

a poem for my mother

you say I don’t

remember you

on mother’s day

you tell your friends

i don’t know you exist


but I know

and now I remember

how you took

my childhood

like those


newborn kittens

stuffed into

a burlap sack

sides pulled up

tied tightly

with a fat length

of cord


darkness –

anchored to

that large rock

tossed from the

end of the pier

into the Pacific Ocean



without a whimper

and you say I don’t remember

you on mother’s day




Author: Léa

A wanderer who has found home and herself in the South of France.

30 thoughts on “a poem for my mother”

      1. Carly, you knew I needed that link. I wept and fit into more of those “categories” than I would like to think about.

        “Les larmes sont les petals du coeur” – Paul Eluard

        “Tears are petals of the heart”

      2. Oh, now I’m crying!! Nic always knows what to say. She just gets it. We can cry with each other in different time zones! xoxo

    1. Terah, thank you so much! I’m glad you hear that you are checking out Nicole’s blog. It speaks to so many. I found myself in several of the categories and had to share it. xxx 🙂

    1. Like in the VE Day poem, many of us have wounds, some were fatal and hopefully we recover when they were not. Not all scars are visible and with luck and a lot of blood,sweat and tears we move on. There are all kinds of “War”.

      Gros bisous,
      Lea XxxX

    1. Julia, one true thing is Art won’t hurt you. Art and the sea have been very therapeutic. Fortunately, both are right here. Thank you.

  1. Hi Léa,
    we’ve a similar saying her: he / she behaves like an elephant in a china shop.
    The meaning is: one’s manners are so bad, the all relationships / friendships and so on were completely destroyed.
    Your saying is also very interesting.

  2. The feelings which come across in this are so powerful, strongly and written in a way that it commanded my attention from the moment I started reading. To be able to write this about your own mother shows self-expression at its best. Brilliant work as always Lea 🙂 x

      1. I agree, writing is my therapy too. It’s cheaper than a shrink! 🙂 x

      2. Yes. Also many therapists have their clients write as they know it can release much of what is blocked. I had writing groups for those clients who were interested and many found it useful. 🙂 x

      3. It is the best outlet for emotion, I’m not surprised your writing groups were useful for people. Writing is speaking with our fingers 🙂 x

    1. I had second thoughts about posting it. However, “Mother’s Day” and “Father’s Day” can rub salt in the wounds of those who had a much different experience. I’ve spent years working with many of them and came from that myself. Writing about it can be healing. Sometimes sharing it helps someone else. xoxo

  3. The woman you spoke of in your poem was not a mother, i was there. Your writing are so real. take care. oxoxox

    1. Merci beaucoup Su! You did witness a lot of it. You also had your own demons yet kept some of my memories for me. The ones I had abandoned. xoxoxox

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