I Do Exist

Jun 25, 2017




I Do Exist

It’s hard to hear my mom talking baby talk.
I’d rather go to sleep than think of this.
It seems so fast—from craziness of raising a child alone
To carrying a diaper bag for my mom.

There is no special shower thrown, in which I receive
a diaper bag for my mom.
My grammarian mom speaks in
baby talk.

I could never get away with it:
Lie lay me I.
Always corrected.
My mom speaks in baby talk.

It went too fast. That time.
When my mom said,
we have to capture history.
The old people will soon be gone.

Now she is gone.
The mom we once knew who never stopped asking questions; she’s silent now.
She clings to us. We wipe her butt
But I have questions? Who will I ask?

My aunt cannot remember that when
I was lost at the zoo on her watch,
a horse swallowed my arm.
Right up to the elbow.

I have bigger questions
To ask my mom
But she has no answers
She sees scary men with red beards

Bad boys she thinks she married after my dad died
She sees the abusive man
Outside the door
She says she was raped

She says that all the time,
My older sister says. Of course it’s not true
And yet for her, it is,
absolutely so, says the doctor.

Fairies come to rescue her
Since we won’t take her to the
FBI Travel Store, which exists only in her mind.
Go there, find my husband Booth, she tells us.

Booth from “Bones”
Tell him he better get over here or that’s the last of him
He’s filing paperwork
She says the people tell her at the FBI Travel Store.

I’ve only seen him on television,
my youngest sister
tells my mom.
Where is your car? My mom asks every day.

Today she says, open the window.I am happy.
She wants to see the view I think.
But she says, let the fairies in.

Where’s your car? she asks.
Down there, I say. Like always..
Let’s take it.
Give the fairies a rest she says.

Yesterday the social worker comes to interview her.
That social worker she’s dumb as a nail,
my brother says.
Time to see if she still can’t remember.

If she still qualifies for long -term care insurance.
Social worker asks my mom how old she is.
I can’t tell you exactly how old I am,
my mom finally says to the social worker. Who is dumb as a nail. 

But what I can tell you, is that I do exist





Carla Sameth has an MFA in Creative Writing (Latin America) from Queens University. Her work has appeared in several anthologies and publications such as Brain, Child; Full Grown People; Mutha Magazine; Longreads, Narratively; Tikkun; Angels Flight Literary West; Pasadena Weekly; Entropy, Hometown Pasadena and La Bloga.

Carla was selected as fall 2016 PEN In The Community Teaching Artist, and was recently awarded a Poet Fellowship with the Martha’s Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing. She teaches at the Los Angeles Writing Project (LAWP), Secondary Writing Institute at California State University Los Angeles. She also teaches creative writing to incarcerated youth through WriteGirl. Carla read her work for the first Los Angeles LAMBDA Lit Fest 2017 and the LitCrawl Los Angeles 2015 and 2016. She was selected to be a member of the Pasadena Rose Poets, presented as part of their first annual “Poetry Within Reach” series via an NEA grant in summer 2016 and continues to read with them in 2017.  Carla co-founded The Pasadena Writing Project and is a member of Women Who Submit. Previously she “brought home the oatmeal” as a single mom, running her PR firm, iMinds PR.






Fairies, top right, by Robert Anning Bell [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Fairy in tree, by C. E. Brock; late 19th to early 20th century. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Fairy on dragonfly, by ArtsyBee; public domain, via


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