If I Listened to Mom
by Jennifer Lagier
If I had listened to mother,
been a docile, obedient wife,
would I still be an independent,
I discover a trashy B movie:
naïve virgin, married too young,
careless mid-life adultery,
older re-entry student,
Immaturity and hard-headedness
disrupted predictable plotlines.
forced me to learn survival skills,
reinvent self, keep starting over.
could I have still pushed boundaries,
amassed a rich repertoire
of unique adventures?
PHOTO: The author at 19, taken by David Lagier.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: “If I….” is the start of regular morning conversations during walks with my sister. We often wonder how our lives would have turned out had we ever been encouraged to excel in dance, music, art, or other endeavors. Instead, we were taught to give up like generations of women before us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Lagier has published 12 books and in literary magazines, taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, and helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Her newest books are Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press) and Harbingers (Blue Light Press), and her forthcoming chapbook is Camille Abroad (FutureCycle). Visit her at jlagier.net.
Author photo by Laura Bayless.