my mother

by rachel

She loves me.
She loves me by the dim light of my study table at 1 am.
By the threatening
“You better go to sleep now”
“I don’t care if you’re not done”
“I’m switching off the power”

She loves me
by the repeated
repeated, repeatedrepeatedrepeated reminders to
“bring an umbrella along”
“come home early”
“don’t loiter”

Did I mention “come home early”?

Her love tastes like peanut porridge,
double boiled chicken soup
Smells like baked potatoes and beef stew.

Her love is boiled for hours and hours
over an electric fire,
baked for exactly 43 minutes
and 20 seconds
in a tiny oven with a blown light.

Her love is an overflowing pot
when I’m sick,
when I’m not,
when I’m her daughter.

She loves me.
And sometimes I forget to tell her

I love her.