What a Mother Will Do

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What a Mother Will Do Chrystal Meeker’s “Momma” tells the story of a mother who struggles to raise her children amidst the difficulties of living in poverty. Meeker explores motherhood while brilliantly describing the family living in the clutches of poverty through various literary devices such as hyperbole, imagery, and simile. The narrator, who is also the main character, reflects back onto her childhood and is able to understand the reasons behind her mother’s will to sacrifice for all of the children. This sacrifice is brought by the many circumstances the family undergoes wile in a period of financial difficulty. This financial difficulty and abject poverty provides a beautiful illustration of motherhood, which is sacrifice for the wellbeing of her children. Meeker sets the tone by exploring the family life in the start of the poem. She uses hyperboles to describe the conditions of the family. Meeker gives a look into the relationship between the mother and her daughter, the narrator’s sister. She writes, “they clawed their womanhoods out of each other” (3) which undoubtedly indicates that the two do not get along. In addition, the author also provides a glimpse into the family’s financial condition. The author talks about the vacant parking lot where the children would go and play, which suggests that the family lives somewhere without a yard for the children to play in. Also, the “cracking counter” (21) indicates that the house is in a state of disorder and disrepair. The poem shifts when it is time for the family to eat. During supper, the mother stands “vacant-eyed and hollow-cheeked” (9) and “when asked, she said she would grab something later” (11). While the children are sent out to play, the mother “began to lick the crumbs from my sister’s plate” (19). When Kayla comes into the kitchen, she is “Startled and dismayed by the animalistic actions/ of

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