“Leah” by Lee Ingram
There is sadness in
the movement of my mother’s hands,
a hesitation in the way she
wraps her arms around my shoulders.
There always has been.
That hesitation dogs her steps,
even basic movements like breathing,
She walks gently so as to not disturb
her sister, sleeping in the other room.
She always has, like quiet
is all she knows how to be anymore.
We have the same whiskey eyes,
but that’s all we have, the only thing
tying us together.
I am nothing, and yet everything,
like my mother.
She is a woman with weak eyes
and a weaker grasp
and a face that others
But every so often,
I creep into the kitchen
and see my mother
dancing in her nightgown,
the navy-blue satin swirling around her ankles.
She dances with that hesitation,
that same pause she’s always had,
like someone watches her even now.
And I realize that she
is a woman who knows
that she will never be beautiful,
not even to me.
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Lee Ingram’s Artist Statement: This poem is supposed to convey the way unfair comparisons can erode even the strongest woman’s self-esteem, as well as the fact that these unfair comparisons have been going on for centuries (as in, Leah and Rachel). I wrote it with my mother in mind.
Lee has been writing for a very long time. She’s currently taking a hiatus from Radford University in order to focus on her writing. She also loves cats, chocolate, cheesy horror movies, and homemade spaghetti.
Lee has only been published in local publications thus far, though she hopes these next few years will change that.