Mother’s Day by Rhys Duffy ’19

When mother’s day comes around

People always ask me my plans

Big grins upon their face

“What are you getting your mom?”

“Did you make her breakfast in bed?”

Well. I suppose I would if I lived with her anymore.

If she deserved my time like that anymore.

I’m sure I could gift her a present if the

Present was nothing and the gifting process was

More akin to a restraining order.


And forgive me for being bitter

But the taste left in my mouth after

Years of putrid abuse

Means I need to add a little salt

Just to bear its taste.


I can still remember the last time I saw her.

It was in a small coffee shop, not far away from school

On what felt like the edge of a precipice

A tumbling dark cliff into a future unknown

A decision which would impact a lifetime


And there my mom was.

A shining scarlet mixture of geeky glasses and

Full rounded cheeks with a brilliant smile

Dyed blond hair curling down her shoulders

She was all I wanted her to be

The woman who laughed with me

Who would comfort me after scary movies

Sneak me candies before school

Drop notes in my lunches that say ‘I love you’

A woman with the capacity to see me as more than just her object

Worthy of me bestowing upon her the title of “mom”


But that all came crashing down quick.

A smashed mirror may reflect an image

But the shards of glass betray it’s true condition

And like a hurricane ravaging a city

I grew stronger with the more evidence I consumed of her

Disgusting way of parenting

Until nothing was left. And even then, I didn’t stop.

And it wasn’t until my dad shook my arm

That I realized I was no longer as close to tears as I had been


I realized this wasn’t a case of sadness

Not a sorrowful, mournful, cry into the night

This was pain

This was anger and anguish

Screaming out all the words I had hidden beneath my pillow

And shoved down my throat to stifle any voice of resistance.


I left that night, not sparing a single glance in her direction.

I could feel her eyes follow me like spotlights

Wide like a criminal caught in her acts

And I stepped out into the world a free man.


So when mother’s day comes around, I urge you

When you wander around the corridors

Smiling, holding your tulips and roses

Asking people if they have said “I love you” to their mothers today

Do a friend a favor

And skip me.