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when the ache echoes

when the ache echoes

If I said mother

will you read this poem I wrote
about how much you hurt me

She might glance downward
or look me in the eye
maybe say sure

I might see the way her mother hurt her
running down her face
til she wipes away the memories quickly

I might look down
at the carefully scripted poem
and see the generations of women
of people who didn’t know how to love each other
perhaps people that the patriarchy
deemed unworthy
of mutual love

I might see all of the mistakes I don’t want to make
might see a turning point at the end of the page.

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