My Mother as Action Movie Villain

After “My Mother as Tom Cruise” by Luisa Muradyan

my mother unfreezing from a 100-year cryogenic sleep 

fist bursting through the glass chamber running buck-naked

and soaking wet, snapping the necks of unnamed extras

my mother in a tight leather bodysuit and an eye patch 

stroking a longhaired cat on her lap, placing a severed pinky finger 

into a stamped envelope

my mother, laughing maniacally,

 dropping a lit cigarette onto a trail of gasoline, 

killing everyone, even herself

my mother, as alien, 

skittering across the ceiling 

of a pitch-black boiler room

my mother pulling the covers 

over her head when the family friend knocks

 and enters her bedroom

my mother, knowing peace was never an option— 

playing possum and shooting the hero in the kidney as he 

bends down to check on her limp body 

my mother sweeping the leg of the protagonist, 

wiping blood from her bottom lip with a steady hand 

saying you hit like a bitch

my mother saving the photo albums 

from the burning house, her mother holding the match,

 the lighter fluid still on her brother’s hands

my mother saying I’ve been at the mercy 

of men just following orders, 

never again 

my mother, starving at home;

 leaving school before breakfast when 

classmates recognized her wearing their donated clothes 

my mother bathed in red light, 

alone in a room 

throwing a bottle against a cement wall 

my mother, the patron saint of poverty, forging signatures, 

throwing gold coins to the villagers of sherwood forest,

 shouting in an english accent, villainy is but a matter of perspective!

my mother in an orange jumpsuit 

shuffling down a corridor in handcuffs, fingering a nail file 

she found in a cake, a hint of a smile playing on her lips

my mother, holding the machete—playing the part she was given

 my mother, raped for the last time, 

 my mother being the one who knocks, my mother counting to three

Terri Linn Davis teaches college composition through monster theory, and reads poetry for Five South. She lives in Connecticut with her co-habby and their three children. You can find her on Twitter @TerriLinnDavis and at

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