My mother
is not sweet.
She is not
or Snapchat-savvy.
She is not 
the “my sweet mother”
status updates. 

She is not rainbows
and bunnies, 
or sunshine,
the early-morning dew
on a freshly-mown lawn,
or anything cute.

My mother is power.
She is the lightning 
streaking across the night sky
when there are no clouds.

She is the forest fire
blazing across
the California horizon
that we are striving
to control.

My mother is the ocean,
never still–
always churning, 
for something
far away.

In her depths
are monsters,
the things that God
tucked quietly away
in the abyss
when he created
the World.

When you get back
to the surface,
you will see
her majesty
in the blue Caribbean
and misty Atlantic
in the North.

Don’t think about
what lies below
for you won’t be able
to find it
without professional help.

My mother is not beautiful.
She is not 
a gentle caress 
or a soft whisper.

She is not the runway model
whose face is painted so heavily
that she doesn’t eve recognize herself.

She is not a flower crown
or a floral sundress;
she is not 
a Sunday afternoon.

She is a Friday night
when the club music
is loud enough 
to drown out your thoughts
and your heartbeat
matches the rhythm
and you are dancing
like a tribal

She is the
running mascara 
and smudged lipstick. 
She is fierce–
wild and feral
and she will never be