And Painted the Floor


In the kitchen

my mother was dead with no religion;

she’d bumped her head and painted the floor.


Dead head red



Mother were your eyes closed or open?

Only the cat knows

as well as policemen.


Bloated bag of bones

drained and taking space in chest of drawers…

you don’t belong there but what can I do?

I’ve never been good at saving you.


You wait for the oven that will


your wishes.

Don’t fret mother;

your girls won’t toss the dirt on you.

We will wear your body dressed in silver

displayed ‘round our necks.


No one can hurt you now.

Not your mother or your father;

not corrupt Jehovah

who’d abandoned you at sixteen years



Mama 19 again at 24;

You weren’t perfect but you were ours

and you were beautiful even at your ugliest

because we knew you loved us

so fucking hard it hurt sometimes.


You were a glorious lioness.

A fucking alcoholic, but a lioness just the same.

And I’m so angry!

So goddamned sad!


My mother is dead. And it doesn’t matter if her eyes were closed or open.

Those eyes I’ll never see again.

Those most beautiful eyes that beheld me the day I was born.

Those eyes I’ve learned to read.

The ones I’ve loved and hated in equal turns—

sometimes green grey or blue

but always true.

The ones made dull when she bumped her head

and painted the floor.

Published by Kindra M. Austin

Author of fiction, poetry, and very sweary social commentary. Editor, and co-founder of Indie Blu(e) Publishing. Co-founder of Blood Into Ink, and Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen.

63 thoughts on “And Painted the Floor

  1. ‘Look and you will see my form whether you are looking at yourself, or toward that noise and confusion.’ – Rumi. Seemed appropriate for your circumstance. I’m sorry for the pain, and loss and chaos. Hang the memories up for the world to see, and keep the secret ones safe and alive within.
    (A nice piece, delving deep within the human and seeing all sides in the mirror of the world. I hope your words and art bring on some healing for you.)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh Kindra. I can only imagine the layers and layers of all that you must feel. You expressed this beautifully and I would imagine there will be many many more. My heart is with you. Hugs!! and I am always here to listen if you want. Much love my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I understand in my own way, through the loss of many key figures in the structure of my family (mom wasn’t around). My sympathies for your loss. Even if sympathy is not enough. I hope my kids will have the strength of expression that you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Kindra, I can’t imagine what you are going through but my heart aches for you. This poem is such a sad, yet beautiful tribute to your relationship. I am proud of you for being able to see through your mom’s alcoholism to find her love. It takes a special person to be able to do that. I love you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There is nothing more complicated than our relationships with our mothers and nothing more unmooring than suddenly being a motherless child, no matter our age. Know that many hearts are full of love for you and our liking of this post means we see you, we hear you, we honor your pain.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love you, too. I’m going to my mom’s apartment today with Tara and Nicole. I promise I will be in touch with you soon. ❤


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