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‘Love of a mother’ and other poems by Linda Crate

By: Linda M Crate

love of a mother

my mother’s love
couldn’t protect me
from your rage,
my mother’s love
couldn’t guard me from your pain;
my mother’s love couldn’t convince me
that i truly meant something
i only listened to your
nightmares were so numerous
i was walking in a never ending hell
tormented not only by your pain,
but the heartache of every bully who launched
their arrows through my heart for sport
as if i were the white tail deer
hooves flying into the air
whose pain was something of a spectacle
to be seen as beautiful;
but this agony was heartwrenching
i wouldn’t wish it upon anyone—
once upon a time there was a little girl starved of love,
but i learned to love myself;
and i thank my mother for loving me
even when i couldn’t.


queens never fall

some of us queens
don’t get
happy endings
some of us get hell after hell
our rubies are the scrapes that have
left us bleeding yet we’ve somehow endured,
our carnelian jewels are those we
earned from sacrificing our sanity for the
greater good of doing what is right;
our black opals
the darkness that will we use as a weapon
against all those who seek to take our light—
for we are life as much as death
and we prefer chaos to peace
because in all the whirring instruments of our minds
it is less painful a place than all the nightmares
who have broken us on their fangs,
but we will rise above this
on the immortal wings of phoenixes;
because queens never fall.


you can’t undo the past

i don’t know who crippled that pride inside of you, who shattered you open wide; i only know i didn’t deserve to be fractured by the pain you used as a weapon against me—your nightmares weren’t meant to be mine, your sorrow and your rage weren’t meant to be tempests whose heartbeats still are in my chest; i can forgive you some days but others i hold my grudge rather than my love for you—because i don’t understand how a man supposedly so good could be so cruel to a girl, a girl who was yearning only for love and a father; you could’ve been both but were instead neither—the shortest way of a day was the only thing i craved whilst in your presence, would sometimes feign illness to escape you; i just couldn’t endure the withering and commanding force of your lack of compassion and empathy for me—i know you try to be better now, but that does nothing to fix that little girl still trapped in me crying; it does nothing to save the girl who thought death was a better option than life.


murderer of my heart

“honor thy mother and father”
was always the retort
of yours,

but there is a verse that says
do not exasperate
your children;

and that’s all you ever did
to me
choking life out of dreams and my veins—

you were cut from
a wicked tongue
one which used pain as a weapon

gave me nightmares in my garden
of dreaming
so i weeded you out,

and now you want a place in
my bed of roses;
all i can offer you is thorns—

i wish i could offer you
something more,
but you killed my heart too many times.


dark alleyways

always impact me
more than

it’s easier
to believe the darkness
rather than the light

because too many
have fractured me with
truths that were only
in halves,

and my mind can go
such dark alleyways
i need to know
how it truly is;

sometimes i don’t know
if i ever will—
the truth is a deep ocean,
and even swimmers drown;

but i do know that i will never be
ashamed of who i am
fought to hard
to become her.


a love unrequited

tired, unfocused eyes
swimming in the
lyric of your smile;
i wish i could be the
shoulders that
were your strength—
but my heart full of hopes and dreaming
intense, vibrant, full of fire and seas
as well as sky and land
would probably terrify you;
so i stand here
with a heart full of longing
not knowing
how to meet the edges of your
kindly curled lips—
i wish i could say i wasn’t afraid of love,
but i cannot;
for whilst love is true people aren’t always
i don’t know how to trust you
and by time i do
you’ll probably have found yourself
a pretty bride—
i wish i could bridge this gap
between us,
and yet i turn away;
because they were wrong when they said
it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved, at all,
nothing burns quite like unrequited love.

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