1. who wants to be a mother?
when we are small, and we disappear from the first meal to the last, only to return to say we are still alive, still mostly in one piece
who then thinks of being a mother?
mothers cant run off at high speed on their bicycle, find a friend, spy on another, climb many trees, fly high in the air on rope swings, practice leaping off them at every growing altitudes
mothers cant do that
then when we are teenagers, finding cigarettes, boys and kisses …so scared of most of them, the thought of kissing, boys!, the taste of cigarettes, the fear of being found out
mothers are never found out
but then after the first kiss, knowing that there are more, and they certainly get better… but is it the kiss, or the expectation of that kiss that is better, ..mothers might know, but its too late for them
mothers dont have time for kisses or expectations of them …their expectations are maybe of a good day at work, a stress free meal
who wants that
and are we even thinking of being a mother then? how could you, how could you even blend a kiss with a maternal thought … even playing with babies is really like playing dolls, it has nothing to do with being a mother.
mothers always think of the babies
who wants that
and when does it stop for a mother? does it really stop when they finish school, it cant, that is when it really begins, the worry about cars, worry about booze, worry about education
worry worry worry
who wants worry … even after you die, your mother still thinks of you, she should have gone first, she was the one, the martyr, it wasnt your turn
who wants that burden
when the child then becomes the mother, can the mother then let go? is the grandmother mantle sufficiently strong, impenetrable?
who wants to be a grandmother….
2. She was 17
she was 17
she had watched her father push her mother from the sulky and break her head on the ground
she had yelled at the father and his female friend
they had threatened her with the stockwhip
she watched her mother cry, nurse the baby, then lie down and die
she had told the police
they had taken her statement
she had six younger ones to mind as they took her father away
the baby was six months old, lily, they had called her, she must never know
she stood with all the family as they buried emma in the soil
they all looked at her, they all wanted her to forgive
she cried when they told her that she had to change her words
she wept when she knew that he would never change his ways
she saved him, and he left anyway
a strange woman became their mother, and fatherless she would keep lily in the dark