For Mother’s Day this year we bring you an essay by freelance radio producer Alysia Abbott, whose mother died when she was only two. Raised by her gay father, a poet, in San Francisco, Abbott writes about the conflict between the “magical chaos” of her childhood and her desire to give her own children a different, more structured life. But order, like chaos, she finds, has a price. (Right-click/option-click to download or click the green “play” button to stream)

“A Mother’s Lament” by Alysia Abbot

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Alysia Abbott is a freelance radio producer and sometimes essayist who lives with her husband and two children in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Alysia and her father, Steve Abbott, are pictured in the cover photograph from his book of poems Stretching the Agapé Bra above. You can find out more about Steve Abbott and read some of his poems HERE


6 Responses to "A Mother's Lament": An Essay for Mother's Day

  1. Nancy Wilsted says:

    We, too, have been there..
    I love you, Mama

  2. Marina Eckler says:

    I could listen to her all day- looking forward to reading/hearing much more from Alysia. Funny, I grew up in a coaster and doily sort of house, moved to SF, drove a crumbling VW, and now dance around the relationship between order and chaos. Love it.

  3. molly says:

    Wow. What a treat to get to hear this, Alysia. It’s great.

  4. Liz Arnold says:

    I love this – I too could listen to her all day. I was struck by how my mother’s quest for cleanliness and order affects me, and how I consciously have to work to allow some chaos in my household so that I am not overwhelmed by the constant task of picking up and putting away. I sleep better when my daughter is clean at night, but I have learned to pick my battles, and she often goes to bed dirty as I leave piles of laundry on the floor so that I can read to her and watch her drift to sleep.
    Thank you for the opportunity to take a glimpse into my own life.

  5. adam degraff says:

    Will never forget the awesome little book of Basho-like haiku and commentary Alysia’s dad Steve wrote about his trip to Japan with Alysia when he was dying. More moving for the things it didn’t say than the things it did. Still treasure it. Lovely to see her pop up here.

  6. […] Abbott is a writer and former WNYC radio producer whose work has aired on KRCC and has appeared in a number of anthologies and publications including Time Out and She […]


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