Angry Mother

I wrote this poem like 20 years ago, after I watched a mom smack the sh#t out of her toddler in a playland. I remembered it today and updated it a bit to share it again.

Angry mother,
as you you grab your child,
and you slap her face,
Can you see her man's fist
in that same place
20 years from now?
Can you see the look in her eyes?
Or the marks that you leave on her heart
That draw the outline for her future?
Angry sister,
I know your pain
I feel your shame
Your disgrace at her disobedience
But if she won't listen to you now,
Don't be afraid.
She will.
Some day.
But for today,
as she fights you for control,
Challenge yourself to be strong enough
To let her have it
Or at least a choice you can tolerate
And a chance to feel respect.
Because, when you do,
You open her to a world
That will never again be defined
by the pain that you carry,
deep down in your soul,
Where no one else can see.
Every time you stand in peace,
Her light will shine a little brighter
And so will yours.
So, when she acts out,
As children often do,
Take a breath
and take her hand.
Show her how to be brave
Brave enough to break the cycle.