Just Like Her Mama

You say I’m angry like my mama

You say I need to work on that

But what you’re really saying is 

You don’t see what there is for me

To be so mad about

You’re confused why I would up and leave

You say I’m impossible to appease

Like your half-hearted sorries ought to have some impact

Against the fact

That my mama’s mama says real women stay

Real women obey

And it was in my mama’s head so deep 

That even a broken knee

Didn’t make her leave

Didn’t make her leave, didn’t make her tell

And when she finally told they gave her hell

And I was right there to lay the blame

Because she was angry 

And I was too young to understand the way

The system is built to make us stay

And my daddy went in private to commiserate 

With the man who made me black and blue because

She’s just like her mama

That’s what these women like

They’re crazy and they want to fight

Never realizing that what we’re fighting for is you

That all we wanted was to see it through

To hold it all together and prove 

That the love we had was real and true

And we are more than what they told us we could be

That we can learn together to be free

Instead you say you’re afraid of me 

But if you’re really so scared 

Why did you help yourself to my body

When I wasn’t there

And then tell me that I don’t know enough to be allowed to say

That it wasn’t right, it was not okay

But the truth rises up in me on a tide of rage

And you won’t even meet my gaze

Because the problem is 

I’m angry like my mama

And so I’m not a real woman, to my grandmother’s shame

And all her judgment and all her praying

Won’t save me from the eternal flames

Of my own voice singing deep within

Crying burn this down and start again

By queenofelves

Writer, artist, and magic-user. Lover of fantasy and romantic poetry. Always exploring!


  1. Hello Queen of Elves,

    I’m Paul from Belgium.
    This is such a strong and moving poem. Your description of the domestic abuse suffered by mother and daughter is subtle yet poignant.
    I only wonder why the guilt of not being ‘a real woman’ is still there. Is the grandma really strong? Her impact seems to have been stronger than the mother’s.
    Anyway, I like your work and will continue to read it with pleasure and awe.

    Have a nice day,


    1. Hi Paul,
      Thank you for reading and commenting! That line is more about denouncing the way female-bodied people are socialized in my culture. It’s about rejecting my upbringing and claiming my own identity outside societal or familial expectations. Letting go of who I was told I should be in favor of who I truly am.
      Hope that makes sense 🙂


    2. Also, my grandmother is simply more deeply entrenched in the patriarchal system, to the point that she actively works to keep it in place and keep other women oppressed. It’s not her fault, but we are all perpetrating it if we aren’t actively working to unlearn it.


  2. What this says to me that you may be like your momma but you are also an Independent woman…..which may be what your momma wasnt in her own relationship…and you made a vow to yourself that wasn’t going to be you


    1. Thanks for reading Andy 🙂 my mother definitely became an independent woman eventually. I wish I had had the clarity to make that kind of vow to myself, but it’s really been much more of a process to recognize what I’m doing and why I’m doing it—and to try to unlearn it. Writing this poem is part of that process.


  3. Powerful poem. I note ‘ With the man who made me black and blue’, and I hope with your excellent and intricate fusion between past and present tense, that this is in the past and that you continue healing.


  4. Wow! That’s learning life’s lessons the hard way, but you broke away and started over. Change is good and creating processes so you don’t repeat the past. Now you are much stronger.


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