I have made
my mother the sum
of all of her mistakes,
the product of
all that she has overcome.
I want
to forgive
to forget
to forge
a path for us
to find commonality
in existing
in the same space. 

I have made
my mother a failed martyr,
a combination of
circumstance and
nuclear fallout.
I want 
to help
to hold
to heal
the child she
never was,
and the daughters she
could not shelter
from fate. 

I have made
my mother everything
a mother,
but no one
taught me to be
a daughter.