Wilderness Sarchild

I Won’t Be Like My Mother

Did I tell you my mother attached herself to a telephone pole and wouldn’t let go while screaming at my father for having an affair—which he did, but it was forty years before?

Or that my father called the police and they took her to a psych ward where she became a guinea pig for random combinations of psychotropic drugs?

Did I tell you she had been a science teacher, a long distance walker, a doting grandma, a fashionista, and could cut a mean rug on the dance floor?

Did I tell you she never forgot how to dance even though she no longer recognized the man that she was dancing with?

Did I tell you she wouldn’t eat unless vanilla soft serve was mixed in with every bite of meat and potatoes that my father spoon fed her?

Did I tell you it took four attendants to change her diapers because all five feet and ninety pounds of her threw prize fighter worthy tantrums?

Did I tell you she punctured her rectum because she no longer knew how to wipe herself?

And that her toenails got thick and yellow and long and strong as steel and when I tried to cut them, I had to run to the toilet and puke?

Did I tell you how angry I am that she did this to me?

Did I tell you how heartless I know that sounds?

Did I tell you I’m afraid this will happen to me?

Did I tell you I’m afraid this will happen to me?

Did I tell you I’m afraid this will happen to me?

Did I tell you I have a plan?


Wilderness Sarchild is an expressive arts therapist, poet, playwright, and grandmother of five. Her play about women and aging, “Wrinkles, the Musical” (co-written with Naomi Turner), will be produced at The Cape Cod Theatre Company in 2017. Her poems have been published in many anthologies/journals and she has won awards for her poetry and play writing from Veterans for Peace, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Chicago’s Side Project Theatre Company, and in 2015, was the first place regional winner of the Joe Gouveia WOMR National Poetry Competition.