she thought of her own girlhood and felt fear.
Dazed and full of love, the young mother
made up her mind, no effort could be lost
in keeping safe her soft and stroppy daughter.
If she was clever, perhaps all would be well.
With patience and perception she taught well,
growing the maiden strong. With reasoned words,
flexibly she prisoned up her daughter
with logic, safety and a touch of fear --
subconscious fear, perhaps -- it was not lost
upon the daughter. How she loved her mother!
Almost breathlessly she watched, this mother,
watched the young woman pass so well
through years in which the mother had been lost.
Often she would seek her mother’s words,
asking on things that she might think to fear.
Close, still, in teenage years; a good daughter.
As she became older, this good daughter
would move to grow still further, tell her mother
that she might like to try despite her fear.
Her mother listened to the rising well
of curiousness and courageous words
and shuddered, though she knew not why; she lost
perspective, thought her daughter might be lost
from the nest. She moved to keep her daughter,
making new suggestions. Easy words!
Sometimes the daughter argued, but her mother
had nurtured her obedience too well.
Sighing, she gave way to her mother’s fear.
How could she not learn better things to fear?
Watching the world go by with chances lost,
risks not taken, things not learned, how well
she knew the beauty she had missed, daughter
with too much patience for her mother,
needing to act and not waste time with words.
How to break free? She means well, my mother.
I fear she’ll never know how much I’ve lost.
Caught in sestina words, I’m always “daughter”.