for my mother

you never took a seat at the table
much less asked to
because you never belonged
it was never for you
too brown, too broken english
too invisible, too forgettable
your sacrifices weren’t seen as such
these were expectations
good wife. good mother.
i mistook your quiet fire
for complacency, for conformity
but my loud, abrasive demand
to be seen, to be heard
is owed to you
because of you
i shake the table


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