The daughter and narrator of the poem "Black Mother Woman" has an attitude towards her mother which is, in some respects, ambivalent but ultimately loving and forgiving. The daughter recalls her relationship with her mother when she, the daughter, was a child; in the first stanza, she describes the mother's love at that time as a "heavy love." In the first line of the poem, the daughter also says, addressing the mother, "I cannot recall you gentle." The implication here is that the mother was harsh and heavy-handed in her treatment of the daughter.
In the third stanza, the daughter seems, in retrospect, to empathize with the mother and perhaps also to forgive her. The daughter says, again addressing her mother, "I have peeled away your anger / down to the core of love." The implication here is that the daughter recognizes, in hindsight, that the mother always loved her, even if that love was surrounded and hidden by the mother's anger and harshness.
In the second half of the third stanza, the daughter's attitude towards her mother seems to be defined also by respect and admiration. She says that her mother's "true spirit" is "beautiful, / and tough as chestnut." The daughter also says that she has "learned" from her mother how to "define" herself. In other words, the mother's anger and harshness towards the daughter when the daughter was younger has helped the daughter to become a strong and independent woman.