Dear Mom,
Lately I see and hear you
in the things I do and say.
My mannerisms and laugh
the curves and curls in my letters
were partly yours first.
The way I sometimes say Oleo
instead of margarine
and icebox instead of fridge
echo your words,
just years and years later.
I know our past together was difficult.
Some would call it tumultuous
or even traumatic.
There were so many things
we both could have done differently;
so many times we could have helped 
each other heal,
could have glued each other back together
holding our jagged pieces like treasures 
instead of like weapons
could have turned ourselves into family night
craft projects for the yearly church bazaar
gluing and taping instead
of fighting or faking.
Instead of finding guidance at home
I watched movies
and late-night tv shows.
But I always picked the wrong characters
to emulate.
I didn’t know I was sort of broken
and that you were, too.
It’s hard to pick the hero when
you’re always on the lookout 
for the all too close to you bad guy that you also
kind of love.
Red flags are easily confused for red capes 
when you’re hurt
or scared
or lonely
or recovering
or all the trigger things.
I always wanted to be the person
who lived with no regrets, 
made all the Hollywood ending choices
but that’s not so easy
when scripts don’t curve into our incestuous realities.
I wish I could still hold your hand,
hug you, hear your laugh.
I wish I could change our pain
and I wish you could see me heal,
for us both.