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16+ Language

but worst of all you gave me your name

by AtomicSpaceKid

Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.

tw: sh and mommy issues lol

I don’t know why,
But I cried through the whole night.

From sundown to sunrise.
It was a steady streamlined cry,
Nothing dramatic like hard hics and sobs.
Just a stream of hot wet salty tears that flowed without much trouble down my cheeks. And pooled at my collarbone.

It could’ve been a number of reasons that made me cry,
But I think the most prominent was for myself.
I was giving myself a solo mourning session, for a dead childhood
Lost time
Lost friends
Broken homes
And cars
Bandaged wrists
And the loss of a maternal love,
If it was even there in the first place.

I cried over all the things I hated about myself
Specifically all the thing she gave me.
Like her love for poetry,
She really fucked me over with that one.
Her artistic skill,
Her eyes,
Her facial structure,
Her name.
All these things she gave to me,
And I can no longer love these things about me.
I can’t.
She stole that from me.

I’ve always been an artist,
I paint pictures with words
And feelings with pictures.
I scribbled furiously for years,
Sharpening those skills,
Erupting with creativity and projects.
But then they started the comparisons.
“She used to do that when she was your age.”
“She’s always had an artistic touch.”
“You’re so much like her.”
And suddenly the eruption stopped.
The tap dwindled then snapped shut,
And the pens dried up,
The paper in the sketchbooks wrinkled and fell to pieces,
The watercolors smeared together,
And the acrylics dried and cracked.

I always loved my eyes,
I received compliments like roses.
They shone like jade placed in my eye sockets.
But they’re hers and that’s all I can see in them anymore,
So I gouged them out and gave them back.

She gave me her hair and she braided it and doted over it so I had to shave it all off and dye it black.
She gave me her high cheek bones so I cut them off.
She gave me so much and took so much more but worst of all

She gave me her name.

And until I am dead or those who know me are, there will always be someone who remembers.
Remembers that I have her name, an invisible brand into my skin.
I’m not her
I’m not her I’m not her I’m not her I’m not her.
But they’ll still remember me as her.
It doesn’t matter what name I go by or how many times I change it. They’ll always remember. They’ll always remind me.

Worst of all she gave me her name.

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Points: 14
Reviews: 4

Wed Feb 16, 2022 6:05 pm
weona wrote a review...

I felt this one, it physically hit me in the chest—the bitterness, anger, pain, resignation you express here are all so visceral. The repetition of "I'm not her I'm not her..." really captures the desperation in your feelings. I can also feel the hopelessness in your words as you list these things she gave you, these things you try to get rid of, and the ones you will never be able to ride yourself of no matter how hard you try—like your name. A name is such a personal thing, to have it eternally tie you to someone that hurts you would be a terrible thing—something your words and pacing capture so well. This piece feels like a fight in some ways, it seems to embody the struggle you have to escape a woman who you can't seem to get away from, who gave you so many things you'd wish to give back—it's emotional and heart wrenching and so good. Thank you for sharing this personal work.

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515 Reviews

Points: 55850
Reviews: 515

Fri Feb 11, 2022 3:21 am
Plume wrote a review...

Hey there! Plume here, with a review! And (very) belated welcome to YWS!!

This was a very emotive poem. I think you conveyed this bitter anger and sadness towards the speaker's mother very nicely. I liked how you started with that "solo mourning session"— the way you described the tears was very nice. It was a good contrast from usual crying sessions, I feel. There's something about silent tears that almost hurt more than dramatic ones. The parallels between "lost time/lost friends" and "broken homes/and cars" was a nice setup to the last line of "the loss of maternal love/if it was ever even there in the first place." This was a real punch of a line and I think it helped usher in the next section, too.

I loved your use of repetition in this poem. Even though this is a written work, I felt that each "her" and "she" was laced with contempt, resulting in that culmination that incorporates the title. I think it's especially noticeable later in the poem. The cause and effect pattern was very nice - I liked the stanza where you started every line with "she gave me her..." and then went on to say how the speaker rebelled against that involuntary gift from their mother. Paired with the harsher imagery, I think it did a wonderful job conveying the resentment this speaker feels. Nice work!

The one thing I would say was that there were almost two acts to this poem. There was the ending, which involved describing something the mother gave the speaker and why that made the speaker dislike it, and then the first part, with the whole tears/mourning for childhood thing. I think they were both very well written, but it did feel somewhat like it was two poems mushed together. I think by focusing on one focal point and thinking about how you want to achieve that - do you want to focus more on the mourning for a childhood lost, or on the reflection of the mother in the speaker and the speaker destroying bits of themself that remind them of their mother - you can create a more cohesive poem.


So I gouged them out and gave them back.

Gosh. This bit of imagery was so powerful and visceral. It definitely has the desired effect. It has to be one of my favorite lines in the poem, for sure. I really loved it.

Overall: really nice work!! I think you were able to convey a lot with your raw imagery and repetition throughout the poem. I hope to read more of your work soon! Until next time!!

Sometimes poetry is inspired by the conversation entered into by reading other poems.
— John Barton