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poetry Bad Mother

The prolific LA poet Alexis Rhone Fancher offers a strong a poem of grief and the absence of legacy.

Bad Mother

By Alexis Rhone Fancher


My boy died young.

I was a bad mother.

So was my mother.

My best excuse?

When she died young

I fell off the earth.

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Think thud/careen not spiral.

Think death wish. Free-fall.

A blueprint, the way I see it.

Soupçon for self-loathing,

with a narcotic chaser.

(Lovers who’d sell me out

for a half-gram of coke.)

Not good choices.

My mother threw me to the wolves.

Loved my sister (the easier one)

and my brother more.

Died when I needed her most.

My dead boy sealed my fate.

My only one.

I pondered suicide.

Learned to police my head.

Mind over matter, my mother said.

But she never lost a child.

My near-fatal accident at twenty.

The day my little brother almost drowned.

Even then, my mother had 2 spare kids.

I should have had more.

Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in Best American Poetry, Rattle,Verse Daily, The American 

Journal of Poetry, Plume, Diode, Flock, and elsewhere. She’s authored nine poetry collections, 

most recently, DUETS (Small Harbor), Stiletto Killer (Edizone Italia) and EROTIC: New & 

Selected (NYQ Books)BRAZEN, her next full-length collection, again from NYQ Books,

will publish in early March, 2023. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, 

Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural