Tag: mother

The Lydia Davis Project: The Mother

(based on Lydia Davis’ short story ‘The Mother’)

There she is, pointing at me, poor girl,
Disappointing daughter, a woeful
Sight – these are her words
For me. This is how it is.

I long for times we were close with
One another. When notions of
Happy family panned out
To utter satisfaction.

Now she tells me the songs I
Sing aren’t sweet enough.
The meals I cook are
Not to her liking.

Please, mother, stop
Undermining me!
Barbed words
Tear me up.

Games she plays
To cut me
Down to

The Lydia Davis Project: Two Sisters

(based on Lydia Davis’ short story ‘Two Sisters’)

Born one after the other in
Imperfect sequence.
These girls exist as
Reminders of a man’s

A man is not a man
Until his wife
Bears him  a son.
That is the way
Of the father.

These daughters filled
With daddy’s disappointment
Carry resentment for
Each other: The girl who
Could have been a brother.

All our poor girls – now women –
Will toil away, leaving
More daughters behind,
Their husbands disappointed
With no successful successors.


The Lydia Davis Project: Mothers

(based on Lydia Davis’ short story ‘Mothers’)

Mother – is it blood or other
That defines you?

Did you hold me in your womb?
Did you cradle me in your arms?
Did you feed me from your breast?

Mother – do I know you?

Am I your only son
Or were there others?

Was the name you gave me
What I deserved or were
You hoping for a better child?

Mother – I’m afraid
Of you dying, and
Being left alone with you.
Are those the only options?

I wonder what sorts of mothers
The other children had.