This week, Audrey’s Corner promotes student poets by showcasing their work. Kailey Blount, senior English major and manager of Audrey’s Corner, shares “I Want to Know my Mother”. Julianna Rezza, a talented contributing writer, shares “The Thief”.

I Want to Know my Mother

by Kailey Blount

i want to know my mother like only her mother can

the rhythm of her bare feet hitting kitchen tile on

Sunday mornings

the top of her head lolling back on car rides home from

dance class

waking up at midnight to her

knees on my chest

cheek on my breasts

she’ll ask me

will everything be okay?

I want to know my mother like her father with a liquored heart

carrying her yellowed picture in my wallet bent on the corners like my spine

my pockmarked face staring in the bar’s bathroom mirror

smudged with drunken sweat and drowning regret

beer on my breath

i’ll stumble home to her epiphany

we’ve got the same eyes

I want to know my mother like her sister sent to be her shadow

our fingers intertwined on home’s sloping steps

i’ll steal her shoes, her socks, her face

her place in a world too small for two cut from the same wrinkled cloth

she’ll hold me tight to her chest until i find shoes that look

like hers yet fit like mine

she’ll chase the pressure my soul left behind

climbing up stairs I built crooked

to hug me one more time to tell me one last time

you’ll be alright you’ll be just fine

I want to know my mother like her best friend lost to

growing pains

sipping on stolen wine beneath the covers of her childhood

bed sheets

talking about our futures to the moon

swearing to the stars we will stay silly little fools

and when its 64 degrees in december i’ll pray all her wishes came true

because there’s a whisper on the wind saying

I’m still rooting for you too

I want to know my mother like her first love

left in basement boxed photographs

teezed hair and teasing smiles

tripping through her teens

alive on green beans and what could be

a green lanterned man whittled with age

i’ll hold her picture the way i should’ve kept her safe

so she’ll live on in dust mit

a broken piece of ecstasy

whispering incessantly

I could’ve been okay if only you had stayed

Most of all

I want to know my mother before she knew me

when all she had to be

was herself

The Thief

By Julianna Rezza

when i was 8 i stole a block of cheese.

i was on vacation and i packed the bags, i always did

and the person before must’ve left behind a bar,

the hot summer air rushing into the convenience store

had melted it warm and by all means inedible but

with a moral obligation stricter than most laws

i begged, cried to my mother to let me take it back,

to give the cheese back to the cashier. and everyone in my

family groaned because it was 6 ounces, an accident, and gross,

but the tears only stopped when my mother said:

you probably saved someone. it was bad anyway.

and we laughed and my eight-year-old brain,

with justification and simplicity, forgave herself.

but what if the cashier gave me the cheese

what if he swiped it from the shelf and didn’t tell his boss

what if he slipped it to me, telling me to take it

and i hadn’t eaten anything for a thousand days or maybe

i had it every day and had become so violently addicted that

saying no would have taken an army i didn’t have

what if the man kept offering and offering and offering

in the dead of night, begging me to comply and i did,

the ache spreading in my stomach and my heart

what if i took it not on purpose, but intentionally

an accomplice of a crime i never initiated,

a deformed and broken thing in my hands

that i threw out and kept a secret.

what if i didn’t save anyone.

how do i forgive myself then?

About the author

Audrey's Corner Editor and Contributing Writer

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