Carol Lynn Pearson's "A Motherless House" (1992)

I live in a Motherless house
A broken home.
How it happened I cannot learn.

When I had words enough to ask
“Where is my Mother?”
No one seemed to know
And no one thought it strange
That no one else knew either.

I live in a Motherless house.
They are good to me here
But I find that no kindly
Patriarchal care eases the pain.

I yearn for the day
Someone will look at me and say
“You certainly do look like your Mother.”

I walk the rooms
Search the closets
Look for something that might
Have belonged to her--
A letter, a dress, a chair.
Would she not have left a note?

I close my eyes
And work to bring back her touch, her face.
Surely there must have been
A Motherly embrace
I can call back for comfort.
I live in a Motherless house,
Motherless and without a trace.

Who could have done this?
Who would tear an unweaned infant
From its Mother’s arms
And clear the place of every souvenir?

I live in a Motherless house.
I lie awake and listen always for the word
That never comes, but might.
I bury my face
In something soft as a breast.

I am a child--
Crying for my Mother in the night.

Go back to the Collection.