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  • Sophia E. Aguiñaga

(the pain of a mother's promise)

The sun is going down

From bright noon brilliance

To retiring 3pm light

Met here, met now

By the 7pm night

And you

Are still

Not here


And I wait

And I wait

And I ache


Where are you

When I

Am here

Where are you

When I

Am here


This curbside is so lonely

And my backpack carries lead

You could have chosen me

But you chose yourself instead

And you used that word

Like blasphemy


You love me

You love me

You love me


Like you love a mule

Stationed to carry you

And the weight

You couldn't carry alone

You birthed me solely

To distribute your load

And I couldn't yet speak

So I couldn't say no


So the moment my lungs

First stung with new air

I was in debt

And yet

You wanted my thanks

You wanted my thanks

You wanted my thanks


Like an expiring celebrity

You called me ungrateful

For not worshipping your womb

And the life in me


But I never asked

I never asked

I never asked

You did

And now

I'm here


And I waited

And I waited

And I waited


For you to choose me

Over your tired, drawn shades

Over your pain

Over your endless black nights

That permeated your days

And also mine


And I ached

As you choked

Again and again

And again


Where are you

When I

Am here

I am here

I am here

I am here


The sun is going down

And you chose not

To choose me

Ever


You carried me in your womb

But I carried

The responsibility


I carried

Your weight and your fear and

your incapacity and your deficit

Alone


Just as you intended


(the pain of a mother's promise)

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