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.
poem first appeared Dec, 2019. Image my own)
I wake before dawn,
drive through blinding snowstorms, if lost, alter course – without faltering – even set out on foot when driving becomes impossible, navigating treacherous snow and ice, for you
you can get where you need to be So you can succeed I risk it all for you
I keep you by my side
so that you will be safe so that I can ensure your arrival
But, I grow weary, and my body
won’t go on, and all I ask for is that we rest awhile, so that I can catch my breath
And in that instance, you are gone –
no hesitation in your step, no looking back – and when you finally stop to wait for me it is too late…
A barrier has grown between us:
like an eight-foot, chain-link fence separating me from protecting you
And you look at me with that glare
of exasperation that says: “I should have done it on my own.”
Wait! Wait, I say.
This wall may seem insurmountable but I can do it. I can do it; give me time. I’ll just climb to the top. It’ll be easy; you’ll see!
Don’t walk away! Give me one more chance
to prove my love. I do it all for you.
first appeared here in November, 2014. Martyr’s Lament This version is a rewrite. Image my own.)
reflect the day’s gloom We are virus-cautious confined indoors
buzz at windowpanes
and news feeds mount
the terror – I scream
silently, pray for
Pause as eagle,
soaring overhead tips a wing my way bids me a good day.
(Eugi’s Weekly Prompt is
soaring. Image my own)
like a dragonfly her helicopter expectations slice through my endeavours
I am an unsung note
set on rotate waiting for an opening to flee the slaughter.
(Image my own.)
For every child
vowed to be the calyx to cradle each budding soul with a tender heart
But I am imperfect
ideals devolving in the face of loss cross unbearable
Tend my own garden now
recognizing the power of example overriding oppression of control.
(Image my own)
Fancy myself pragmatic
but these cherubic faces render me nostalgic
Not for the times –
for they were hard – but for the ideal lost
Speculate on failings
shallow expectations, pray I did enough.
(Found this old photograph of my two girls.)
Carefully we construct
security for offspring –
add luxuries to entertain
play host to revolving-
door friends and dates.
And yet, we are graded
on performance – met
or unmet expectations –
held up against a stack
of other super parents,
silhouettes of perfection.
Still, we celebrate goals,
sprouting family, ignore
the slanders, and ease
into age with a tad of kook,
or wild inappropriateness –
all expressions of our love.
(First edition of
this poem appeared Feb/’18. Image from personal collection. Submitted for Reena’s Exploration challenge, choosing the prompt: silhouette.)
Had a weird sort of lexicon
the man who professed
to be my dad –
Clamped in his chokehold
he’d demand words of devotion
Became inured to this dichotomy –
spent a lifetime searching for love –
Just the right balance of cruelty and kind.
(Tuesdays, I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson. Sketch mine.)
Years when children,
perpetually in motion,
required a referee –
Mom’s energy replete
so ephemeral now –
time having vanished,
savouring memory blurs.
(Inspired by my grandchildren, and the prompts of Ragtag Community:
ephemeral, and Fandango: referee. Image from personal collection.)
One a Tom –
elusive schemer –
renders me sleepless.
a diva demanding,
high anxiety to boot –
makes me crazy.
Third, a trickster,
stays out of sight
and then springs –
keeps me on my toes.
This raising children,
like herding cats –
next to impossible,
and I’m allergic.
(A light-hearted poem in response to Willow Poetry’s What Do You See?
Challenge: featured image.)