Sneak Peek; Volume 19

In the Sneak Peek series we are talking about and highlighting some great works that will be presented in volume 19. Each editor chose a piece they were excited to share with others, so keep an eye out for them in the journal.

By Dakota Lopes

Title: Are You My Mother?

Author: Kaleigh Rollins

“Are You My Mother?” by Kaleigh Rollins Poetry is its most impactful when it finds words for a feeling you might not have known that you had. The personal particulars of the author’s own life bled onto a page are to be applied as universal to the readers’ experiences, abstracted, and related to our own particulars. The world is a lonely place, and we spend much of our lives trying to make ourselves feel less alien in a world that doesn’t accept us. I find that so eloquently put to page in the poem “Are You My Mother?” by Kaleigh Rollins.

For many of us, a mother is a synonym for unconditional love, something or someone that makes you feel at home on this alien planet of ours. Some of us don’t find that in our own mother, or maybe we used to. So here we are, baby Rhesus monkeys, thrust into a life-sized Harry Harlow experiment. Rollins chronicles her particulars, while she looks for mothers: cigarette smokers, lovers, others’ mothers. And though we may not recount experiences that match these exactly, we can find our own examples of charitable drunks, coworkers, and cousins, who loved us when we felt alone.

The end of this poem ripped my heart out, it made me come to terms with an indomitable truth, the person that we can depend on to always be a mother to us, is ourselves. We have the power within us to make ourselves feel at home in our own mind, and it is only then that we can complete the search that we spend much of our life undertaking. Check out “Are You My Mother?” by Kaleigh Rollins in this year’s edition of The Bridge.

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