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by Lisa Marie Brodsky

This is not to say
that I have never hated her.
I wiggled away when she tried to
wash my face and then ran into
my bedroom slamming my door.
I cursed at her as an emotional teenager,
I hung up on her as a confused 20-something.
That didn’t exactly constitute hate,
but that day in January of ’06,
as I stood beside my then-boyfriend,
she calmly said they found a mass on her lung.
I still didn’t get it. I thought: danger. But it’s Mom.
We went to brunch, surreal to gather
eggs benedict and slices of cantaloupe onto my plate.
It was only while I drank my orange juice
that she said the word “cancer”
and everything soured.
I thought back to her years of smoking,
of me hiding her cigarettes and
her getting so mad at me.
I suddenly could not understand
how she could think she was
so impervious to this disease
and she just shrugged and
it was that shrug, that helplessness
that I hated – not really my mother –
but the ignorance that kept her
driving toward the broken bridge
and now she is stalled and we wait
to see if she falls.


Posted on 04/04/2006
Copyright © 2022 Lisa Marie Brodsky

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