Poetry Archive


Dearest mother,
I’ve fallen in and out of love more times than I can gather
And where have you been through it all?
dearest love, sincerest mother
Breasts I once clung to
But was never allowed to tether
Dearest mother,
mommy, please
Where have you been?
Nudged from the nest
‘Cause you thought indulgent affection was a sin
So I learned to fly and never to crawl
Never to be weak and on my knees,
Never given permission
to bawl
Where have you been?
Through it all.
Not just a noun, but a verb
Beloved mother,
Be loved.
If not by me then please,
by another.
I pray by me, one day,
Concurrent mother and daughter.

Image by Juarte Cesnaite

Thanks for reading! If you enjoy Raising Mothers, please consider making a one-time or recurring contribution to help us remain ad-free. If even a fraction of subscribers signed up to contribute $1 per month, Raising Mothers could be self-sustaining!

Support Raising Mothers

Filed under: Poetry Archive


Ayling Zulema Dominguez (she/they) is a first-generation Chicana-Dominicana from Bronx, New York, with roots in many places. As a poet and creative in an abolitionist mindset, her work has long been the stuff of forging community; of affirming belonging as the first step toward liberation; of imagining new, better, and more radically loving worlds. Knowing that a sense of belonging is counterfactual and ephemeral if we do not work to liberate others, her writing and creative work do not only celebrate joyful resistance, but also push readers to actively oppose systems of oppression. She carries these values into her artistry as a current Laundromat Project Create Change Fellow and Teaching Artist with the International Community High School in South Bronx. Her poems have been featured in Moko Magazine, La Galería, The Protest Review, The Mujerista, 433 Magazine, Latino Rebels, The Bronx Free Press, and Alegria Magazine’s Latinx Poetry Anthology.