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Mother's Voice
Marcia Krause Bilyk

Image ©  Marcia Krause Bilyk  

Turn the lights out + Pick up your things + That’s your sister’s + Don’t raise your voice + I’m tired of hearing you + Come inside + Wipe your feet + Don’t let the dog out + Close the door + What did I tell you + Get off the phone + Make your bed + Dust the living room + Water the plants + Put your shoes away + Take your things upstairs + Hurry up + Be careful + Throw your dirty clothes downstairs + Clean out the tub + When’s your appointment + Answer the phone + Put your clean clothes away + You’re making a mess + Wash your hair in the basement + That’s enough + Throw that out + Don’t lie to me, I’m your mother + Just forget it + You’re not listening to me + Tell her you’re sorry + Settle down + Don’t overdo it + Finish up + Don’t cut yourself + Those are my scissors + You’re not allowed + Not in my house + Watch your mouth + That costs money + Who does this belong to + Who made this mess + I’m going to wash your mouth out with soap + Money doesn’t grow on trees + We’re not made of money + Who did this + Clean up after yourself + Don’t let me catch you + Close the refrigerator + Not until dinner + Answer the door + Dump that outside + Clean it up + Bring the paper in + Don’t forget + Sit up + Stop fussing + Straighten your skirt + Answer me + Point your toes out + Stop it + Don’t be silly + You’ve got to be kidding + Who does he think he is + I’m not going to say it again + There’s a right way to do things and a wrong way + You’re doing that wrong + Here, let me do it + Put that away + Don’t let me hear you + Don’t talk back to me + Get down here now + You forgot + Give me those + I told you, I just did the wash + You’re too smart for your own good + Things will work themselves out + Not again + Go to your room + Think about it + What will people think + Don’t say a word + Don’t tell anyone + Be quiet + Set the table + Wash your hands + Don’t use so much + Close your mouth when you chew + Clean your plate + You’re not leaving until + Didn’t I tell you + Listen to me + Stop dawdling + Who broke this + I’ve had enough of your + Come back here, I’m not finished + How many times + Stop wasting + I just bought that + You’ll be sorry + Hush + Don’t touch that + Leave it alone + If I ever + Let me fix it + You’re going to be late + Just forget about it + Over my dead body + Give ‘em a taste of their own medicine + Don’t be a smart aleck + Empty the trash + It’s your turn + Why do I bother + Live long enough to be a problem to your children + Your father and I + No, you can’t + Did you practice + How often do I have to tell you + I’m busy + Where are you + She made her bed, now she can lie in it + Not now + Have you looked everywhere + Don’t do that again + I told you not to + It’s time + It’s too late now + What have you been doing + I don’t care what she says + No boys in the house while we’re gone + Don’t ever let me catch you + You’re letting the flies in + You don't know how lucky you are.

Marcia Krause Bilyk is an essayist, photographer, and hospice volunteer, who lives in rural New Jersey with her husband and three dogs. Her essays have appeared in The Interpreter and Upper Room. Her photos have illustrated Brevity, Tiferet Journal, Cold Mountain Review, and Adirondack Review. 


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