I Am Listening, Child

Child of mine,
what rage is this
that sets you against
a younger brother?

What discontent stirs
so deeply within that
you would lash out
at me, your mother?

Let us sit a moment,
and let me, with tenderness,
listen, for your anger masks
pain, and I am not so far
removed from childhood
to recognize that tone.

If I have wronged you,
speak; I need to hear it.
If peers are pressuring,
or bullying, or you feel
betrayed, lay it here
in my hands, and I will
comfort you, and offer
what wisdom I have.

Your well-being is sacred
to me; let me hold you –
you’re not too old – linger
here in my embrace until
the tears come, and the storm
passes; I will hear your fears,
frustrations, and disappointments,
and together we will figure it out.

Child of mine,
I am here for you,
no matter the reason;
your pain is my pain,
talk to me; I am listening.

(This poem first appeared Dec, 2019. Image my own)

Aromatherapy

School days meant up-before-dawn,
carpools across town,
tuna-sandwiches and rotting
bananas shoved in brown
paper sacks.

Then home by bus – exhaust,
the stench of old men, stale
lunchbags, gym shoes and
pre-adolescent sweat.

Four blocks to home
by foot, the locals taunting,
the inevitable tussle –
blood mixing with moldy
leaves and mud.

I’d burst through the front door,
anger peaked, hunger havoc, and
the waft of cinnamon and cloves,
warm apple pie, or the sugary syrup
of cherry – after dinner promises –
and gooey chocolate melting
into sweet chewy dough –
mom’s recipe for calm.

(Gina is hosting tonight at the dVerse Pub, and she challenges to write about comfort smells.)

A Cup of Tea

My husband and I recently returned from a trip to the US, and as usual, the first thing I wanted on return was a cup of tea.  It is the one thing – next to my own bed- that I miss the most  when I am away.

What is it about a cup of tea?

Raised by a Brit, tea is part of my heritage.  Growing up, we started every day with a cup of tea, and quite often ended each day with one also.  I especially remember that as teenagers, my siblings and I would convene at the end of a night out and share stories over a late night cup of tea.  Every dinner would end with someone putting the kettle on.

My children’s father was also a Brit, and he introduced me to tea time – a ritual cup every day at four o’clock, always accompanied by a sweet or biscuit.

The secret, not practiced in many restaurants, is in the preparation:  the pot must be warmed first, and the boiling water added to the tea and not the other way around.  In our family, the milk went in the cup first, with just the right amount of sweetener to offset any bitterness.

Special tea, a concoction of mostly warm milk and honey, with a splash of tea, is a family recipe for curing childhood ailments.

I don’t drink tea in the afternoon anymore as the caffeine keeps me up at night, and I have replaced the milk with non-dairy alternatives, but I still have a sense that all is not well unless I’ve started the day with that one lingering cup of tea, prepared just the way I like it.

Ahhh, the simple luxuries of home.

(Image: officemum.blogspot.com)