I’m discouraged by the way my daughter
treats me as if somehow, I deprived her
of what she needs, denied her the complete
expression of one of her gifts, gave her
the wrong look when she was vulnerable,
the reason I’m now a punching bag, the
focus of her dislike, cause of her great
unhappiness, circumstance she can’t get
over so must accuse, insinuate,
remind, blame—forget the daisy I once
gave her—as I did with my own mother
for different reasons, for her hitting,
kicking and punching me, yanking my ear
lobe, putting a distorted face in front
of mine to rage. Your life could be worse, I
want to tell her. You could ooze college debt,
be born into a dwelling without books,
have been molested by one of my friends
while I slept something off, feel abandoned
to your own devices for survival,
plenty of incentives to be depressed
these days besides your terrible mother.