by Nancy Swallow Somerfeld
Mama was a brave woman. That’s how I see her life.
Most thought her meek, a stay-at-home wife,
A mother of six, knuckling out three meals a day.
We walked home for lunch: hot soup, piled
With croutons and ham on seeded rye.
All stacked up to feed my father’s office crew
That tromped up the stairs as soon as we were on our way.
They never knew she was fighting demon voices in her head
Even as she waxed the gleaming wooden floors
With golden Preen, washed the dishes by hand,
Made all eight beds with starched sheets, pressed,
That fragrant linen steam rose to hide her distress,
“Kill!” the voices screamed, but she kept singing songs
To drown out the voices that tortured her so long.
Because she was good. Because she was brave.
Category: Featured, Poetry