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Repeat Offender, a poem by Lylanne Musselman

Repeat Offender
by Lylanne Musselman

Nothing prepares you for the broken record
of your mom’s mind on a circular spin;
with each repeated phrase you feel yourself
spinning out of control. You must remember
she cannot reason any more than one can reason
with a two-year-old. Sometimes when you tell her
she can’t drive anymore she argues, cries, and pleads
to give her just one more chance. You tell her you’re afraid
for her safety and the safety of others. She says you can
ride with her and if she does something bad, just tell her
to pull over and she will; and all at once you remember:
a younger, saner mom who was mad at you
as a young adult, a passenger in her car.
She floored it on the back roads, saying she didn’t care
if she killed us both. And, you realize how irrational
she has always been – when she is not in control.

Lylanne Musselman is an award-winning poet, playwright, and artist, living in Indiana. Her work has appeared in Pank, Flying Island, The Tipton Poetry Journal, Poetry Breakfast, The New Verse News, Ekphrastic Review, and Rat’s Ass Review, among others, and many anthologies, including Resurrection of a Sunflower, poems to honor Vincent van Gogh (Pski’s Porch, 2017). A Pushcart Nominee twice, Musselman is the author of four chapbooks including the recent Weathering Under the Cat (Finishing Line Press, 2017).