Like you: A poem

coloredited_oliviastaser_fighter_weekender
Olivia Staser/Staff

I think my mother is afraid that I will be like her.

She warns me against her missteps and when sometimes I confer

Certain insecurities to her,

She turns to me and says,

You’re beautiful, don’t change.

Don’t do the things I did — let your mind shift, your body rearrange.

Don’t try and fit a model figure, add or take away a bit.

Fashion changes but you don’t — please just take my word for it.

Yes,

Sometimes I think my mother worries my problems are her blame

Since she can look back in her photo books and see she’s just the same,

And when I share with her my pain she says,

I’m sorry, peaches, I’m sorry.

Please be careful, sunshine, be careful, you know I always worry.  

I know what you’re feeling now because I felt it, too.

I remember when I was your age I hurt and ached just like you.

And I don’t want you to cry like this, to hurt yourself at all.

I know she blames herself, and mom, you’ve seen me stumble, seen me fall

But the thing is mom, you’re very wrong if this is your true fear

Because, you know, the thing is- the thing I hold most dear

Is that I’ll someday be like you when I look into the mirror

Because mom,

Yeah, you made mistakes, but man, have I made more

But every time I make them, you give me something to fight for.

Because fighter is the name you gave me —

You poured it into my palms,

Curled my fingers up around it,

Let it settle all my qualms

You said peaches,

Sunshine

Sweetheart

But most of all, fighter,

Don’t give up:

You were born with fight in your eyes

And no matter how hard this world tries,

They cannot strip this from you

Because sunshine you are like me, and see,

I am a fighter, too.

And mom, that’s why

No matter what

I’ll want to be like you.

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