Poems and Poetry

My Mother Never Hugs Me | A Poem by Sanisha Wynter

My mother never hugs me,
but I know she loves me.
From the young age of seventeen,
she found herself with a belly full of arms and legs.
The best thing that happened to her she says,
‘I saved her life.’
When it comes to my early arrival,
there is no doubt she was blessed.
But in my earliest memories,
I don’t remember her hugging me.
She invested in my future,
teaching me the value of education.
I was her ticket out of poverty.
And my only wish was to hold her.
But by then she had my little sister,
physical attention was too much to give.
Books and my imagination were my friends,
the words on the page comforted me.
I grew smarter,
it’s a shame they couldn’t hold me.
Protect me and treat me like the child she never allowed me to be.
Maybe I grew up to fast,
or was it her fault?
Attempting to replace the blessings she found in me,
with yet another child.
I was pushed to the side.
Maybe that’s why my mother never hugged me.
In my teenage years,
the physical affection was still null and void.
I found solace in my pursuit of love from teenage boys.
Teenage boys,
who find it funny to fart in public.
Discovering their pleasure organ and the hearts it could break,
including mine.
Foolish to think boys could fill both my absent parents shoes.
Degrading myself because my self worth evaporated,
in my mothers beautiful brown arms.
She probably saw the dark inside of me,
a demon brewing from an early babe.
She described me as a cold child,
always something wrong with me.
Too quiet, too opinionated, too independent, too needy.
Too everything but not ordinary.
Maybe that’s why my mother never hugged me.
I sometimes wonder what it would be like,
to take a step and embrace her now as a young woman.
Just to feel what it felt like.
To know my mother’s scent,
and feel warmth.
Instead of talking to her and feeling nothing.
Feeling empty and broken but mainly confused.
I watch her hold the latest addition to our already completed
She looks like a mother now.
Old and fatter, cuddly and safe.
She embraces my little brother,
with such deep affection the room begins to glow.
That fuzzy feeling, the good hot cooked food feeling.
She looks up and meets my envious eyes.
Cold again.
I feel nothing.
But I think I understand why,
the idea of my mother holding me is nauseating.
Awkward, strange and almost wrong.
Because she had me as no more than a child, she stole my innocence as
I stole hers.
A fair trade.
I believe in karma you get what you give.
Her gift to me was life, forever I shall be in debt.
So that’s why it’s okay,
that my mother never hugs me.
Because she gave her life to love me.

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