What Do You Do When Your Mother Is Crazy

Music: Art of the Fugue, Contrapunctus 1.
By J.S. Bach. Sequencer unknown. Modified by David Grossman.

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Nicholas Gordon

What do you do when your mother is crazy,
Hysterical, selfish, abusive, and cruel?
What do you do when really you hate her,
And it's all you can do to be distantly cool?

What do you do when you find her repulsive,
And the best of your memories are tinted with pain?
And now she is old, and needs to be near you,
And you cannot stand to be near her again?

How do you tell her the truth when the truth
Keeps accruing like some insurmountable debt?
When the horror that haunts you goes back to a moment
You cannot remember and cannot forget?

What do you do with your love when your love
Has been buried so long that you can't find its grave?
When love for a parent lies outside a window
Through which you imagine how people behave?

What do you do when whatever you do
Must cost more than the option you failed to choose?
For whether you turn to embrace or forsake her,
You're left with a burden you cannot refuse.

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