The Tigers Way

There is a such a place
Within my heart
Where the mother wound
And on days
That celebrate Mother
My heart cries,
Derision to this day,
A farce,
A lie!

Mother does not mean to me
What it does to many.
Or at least that is what I used to
cry, Mother, oh mother, my mother,

And I want to yell at her for leaving
Before I got the chance to say
How dare you leave again,
How dare you run from me
From yourself
and hide,
How dare you

And then a quiet voice within me speaks,
She was wounded too,
She fought her fear
With strength,
And she carried more, than any of us
Should like to think,
And her boldness,
Her brazenness,
Her victories shine,
From her I too learned
How to never give in, give up,
She taught me the biggest of things,
How to survive.

And like a tiger with teeth
Ready to strike,
We both lived brightly
And took too big bites
Out of life,
We triumphed. We plummeted.
We hid away. We tried.
And she may have hurt others,
But me, I hurt myself,
So, are we truly all that different?
We were taught pain
By the harmers, no, the harmed.
And in turn like a scar,
Harbored the Mother wound deep and away.

Well then, hers along with mine,
I will face this pain.
I will hold all the parts of us that ached
In the same way.
Her Mother left her
Early like mine, and
On this Mother’s day, I say
Lastly, but really,
The most important thing,
I forgive her, I release the pain
She was taught to give away.
And when I look up and see
The stars tonight,
The one that’s winking,
Is probably her
And I’ll smile and say,
Thank you for teaching me,
The tiger’s way.

-Angel Marie Russell

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