“Happy Mother’s Day; Your Husband’s a Racist” by Abigail Kirby Conklin

I have folks from college texting
me screenshots of his Instagram—
Hey, didn’t you stand up
their wedding?— and don’t even bother
arguing because it’s true:
I did,
you are,
he has
been, has never found sufficient
reason not to be,
and I think about you, now,
on your first Mother’s Day
a thousand miles back where I left you
in a fit of, “I’ve got to get out of here,
promise me you will, too.”
Will he ever learn Spanish?
Get a job without a gun involved?
What happens when the baby’s skin
browns in summer, reaching up to meet
the soft mirror of your own?
What happens when he hates
you, too? When your mother finally
leaves your father, fed up with this story
and its telling, thirty years in,
only to see it begin once more
in her children, fed up
with the town and the relatives
and the quiet, the quiet,
there is not a sound for miles, not even
the rowdy squall of the torchlit rally
two towns and an hour away,
where her husband and yours
are chanting, howling
the sun down on a burnished
Sunday in May,
while you wait for night
to come on.

Screen Shot 2020-01-31 at 1.50.03 PMAbigail Kirby Conklin lives in New York City, where she works in public education and curriculum development. She is the author of the chapbook Triage. Her work can also be found in The Lampeter Review (2017), Curlew Quarterly (2018), and piece lit mag (2019), among other places. She can be found on social media via her universal handle: @a_k_c_poetry