What Holds Her Back?

What Holds Her Back?

What holds her back
is damned to be back-burned
and, God willing, will be
thoroughly ash by the time
her daughter outgrows
the artifice of “content” and learns
Mother has been tangled to a
caravan with no rope,
hitched and switched,
back faced to debt notes
at full gallop.

Her usual hayride
is a static ballot of
loose limbs and listless feet
or an unfaithful jump
to jolt the knees.
She stiffens as she wakes
to the road between,
back-casting
in dust and stories:
“Mom, I’m living my dreams”.

But the backfire
is unforeseen.
It’s slow coping from
the dear voice of
a daughter’s new daring
and a spirit she tried to choke
years ago, both in spark –
the pain’s still flaring.

She cannot lighten her eyes.
The wagonload weighs
too much like scarecrows
hankering after permanent stakes,
likely to burn:
“Come with me?”

Mother chose a purgatory
that singes any innocence from her
mistakes and takes to the scald
of fault, condemned to be
distraught by the reconciled.

“Child, quiet now.
You go.”

Her usual hayride hauls
ramshackle and shamed.
It deals in wheels of
dependency.

She averts her eyes
after a frail smile goes up in smoke
of scarecrows laughing at the back,
where I can see.

“Don’t do the things I did. Please,
live your dreams. Little sunflower,
do it for me”,
she whispers as she chokes.

My tears breathe deep in the chest,
behind a resolution to bring her hope,
God willing,

let light kiss her
where what holds her back
stokes the most.

Published by

Asha Gowan

I am an aspiring poet, novelist, musician, visual artist, and a die hard jazz enthusiast (partial to writing). I did not have a choice in the matter as both of my parents are creative to the core. Van Gogh beautifully painted the artist's portrait with his words: "The more I think about it, the more I realize there is nothing more artistic than to love others." I've made that ideal the primary catalyst for my work. Born as one of nature's esthetes, beauty is the goal of every song, every poem, every piece of art. Beauty that will touch the hearts and minds of others. I try to design my art to be healing and empathetic. I study and find intriguing people of all kinds, which informs a lot of my insights. I've drawn inspiration on the art of positivity, of spiritual uplifting from writers like Throeau, John Muir, Ohiyesa (Charles Eastman), the psalmist David, etc. Seeking a unique verve in my style, I make thorough investigations of all sorts of art and challenge myself to the hilt for the growth of my ingenuity. I am eager to share my musings with everyone here and wish to disseminate them. Thank you!