Deserving- Joann Cohen

Mother my poetry belongs to you
You grew me in your sacred body
You nurtured me in a world of chaos
You taught me manners and how to take care of myself
All while sacrificing your very own dreams of becoming your dream
Where do I begin to say Thank you?
How do I honor what you have given me?
I look at each day I’m alive and feel the warm sunlight on my skin and remember those warm hugs you gave me and held me tight
The parables you taught me in Spanish
The cautious tales about men wanting only one thing “Los pinche putos “
And that one thing was to silence us as women into submission and servitude and to be their sexual being
that one thing was also to silence our voice of reason and logic
You taught us to never let anyone take advantage of us
“No dejes que nadie se aproveche de ti”
You said use your
voice and be heard
You whispered this in secret as we watched your silent frustrations serve up meals clean diaper after diaper wash cook clean have another baby
All the while producing beautiful children who were your strong offspring
While your dream withered away from exhaustion
My life is your living dream
I speak up
My voice of reason and logic makes a difference
I am strong yet I am gentle like you Madre
Each day I begin with a stronger sense of self
Thank you for those whispers in the night



Joann Cohen is the youngest of seven siblings. She has been writing since her early teens. She knew then, she wanted to be a poetess, and writer of short stories. She recalls many instances in her rich childhood and brings them forth in her poems and stories. Writing has always been a form therapy for her and she loves to share her sometimes, funny and difficult stories. She hopes you enjoy reading them.

“Poetry is a life-cherishing force. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.”-Mary Oliver

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