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'Hereditary' by poet Briana Grogan

Poet Briana Grogan reads a poem about her mother, Klamaria, titled "Hereditary."


Legend says Klamaria chose to be sober. After growing up with a mother who couldn’t mother without living within walking distance of a liquor store, she refused to belly her wounds in a glass.

She was the fairest in her family, caste cold and Creole. Different daddy from her younger sister, yet never a good man around.

Had she not distanced herself from walls that peeled a mother’s muse, she may have wound up vodka-veined, sob-stumbled, and tender —tempered like I did.