If I Could’ve Seen into the Future
by Martina R. Gallegos

If I could go back to my preteen years,
I would be less of a pest to my mom.
I’d show her the love and affection she yearned for
and show her the gratitude she so deserved.

If I could take back all those feelings
that caused my dear mother much grief,
I’d exchange them for lilies instead
and give her a hug every day.

If I could tell Mother one thing,
it’d be that I always did love her
but didn’t know how to show it,
even when my heart screamed to do so.

If I could’ve seen into the future
and had seen roles reversed
with my daughter and me,
I’d have made things better with mom.

If I had learned as a child
that stories would repeat in years to come,
I’d have practiced patience and love with my mom,
so then I could apply the same with my daughter.

If I could’ve learned from my mother
to keep calm when things became tough,
I’d not be putting myself through hell
and dragging my daughter along.

If I could use gentler words with my own daughter,
and still let her see how much I lover her,
and that her happiness is what I fight for,
then we’d be able to communicate better.

If I could tell my daughter I love her,
oh, but I do, although tearfully.
Still, the words don’t come out
like they should, and, damn, that hurts!

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: We took this picture June 2015 when my daughter graduated from high school and I received my Masters from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix,  Arizona.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I see my daughter and me having the same experience or relationship I had with my own mother when I was a teen, but my mother was more patient than me, and it truly hurts.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Martina R. Gallegos came from Mexico and attended Pasadena High School, Oxnard College, and CSUN. She got a Master’s from Grand Canyon University after a massive stroke. She published Grab the Bull by the Horns (Outskirts Press, 2016). Her poems have appeared in Hometown Pasadena, Altadena Poetry Review: Anthology 2015, Silver Birch Press, Spectrum, The Girl God, and Basta!