Dutiful Daughter

Hey everyone. A poem on the complex sometimes difficult but ultimately rewarding relationship I had with my mother. My mum found my transgender identity difficult to deal with & could never quite manage to get her head round it. However I have come to a place where I refuse blame her but accept the fact that she was a woman of her time more conservative than me but as I get older I realise that perhaps we are more alike than I had previously thought.

Also whether she realised it or not she made me a dutiful daughter who tried to live by the rules she taught me. Now I have friends young enough to be my daughters I see my maternal instincts coming in to full bloom.
Perhaps whether she realises it or not its testimony to the values my mum taught me that some young women see me as a mother figure & come to me for advice & support as & when they need it or just to know they are cherished respected valued & loved. I have called the poem dutiful daughter, I hope you enjoy the read.

Dutiful Daughter

I knew from a young age
I was born to be different
not in a bad way you understand
quite the reverse if truth be told
I had maternal instincts
but I couldn’t be a mother
I had gifts I would not be allowed to ignore

Growing up I faced pressures
to conform, to fit in
it would be easier I was informed my mother wouldn’t have to explain
to the neighbours
about my shameful dreams
they were best kept behind closer doors

Yes she knew about my hopes
which dare not speak their names
it wasn’t right to challenge her conservative ways
why couldn’t I be more like the rest of the family
content with a protestant sunday
of the post the roast & songs of praise
No not me I had ambitions
which reached way behind the sky
I was over so many rainbows
I would never make it back to Kansas or the north of Glasgow
in time for school rain & those dreary monday mornings

A friend of Dorothy’s I may have been
but I only saw her at Christmas
usually after the queen
I which tried hard to miss but never did
Where are James Bond & Batman
when you need them to come to your rescue
nowhere, well I learned young
men & superheroes are both unreliable

Meanwhile I would go in the kitchen
ask mum if she needed a hand
help out if I could
it wasn’t just at Christmas
I tried to be good but every day
even when my mother didn’t like it
complained I was getting under her feet
all I wanted was to be treated like a daughter

My mother knew but couldn’t accept
The girl I was or the woman I became
I refuse to blame her
it was just the way she was
a woman shaped by circumstances
she was afraid of change
she never did like taking risks

I on the other hand embrace change
you are not the same in your fifties
as you were in your teens or twenties
you evolve as you grow
I could never be a mother
but sometimes I know
as my maternal instincts kick in
with friends young enough to be my daughters
I really am a lot more like her than I thought

should I be happy or a tiny bit sad
have I turned in to what once drove me mad?
I hope I’m more liberal I probably am
at heart I’m still a Donny fan
I remember my teens & what I was like
I wanted to put the world to rights
but as I grow older I have truly discovered
a dutiful daughter I’m in some ways a mother

@ Gayle Smith 2012

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