Sunday was Mother’s Day; it sent me back to look over poems I’d written while raising my children. This one I wrote as they began leaving the nest. For several days I played with re-writing it, but it kept returning to how it was first written so I let it be –it seems to sum up motherhood.
We used to be so connected
that my breathing sustained you.
Then your needs and cries
determined the pulse of my days.
Soon our worlds were linked
by held hands and shouts of “Mommy, watch me!”
There were years of gradual letting go
as you wandered farther and farther from me . . .
But shared laughter, permission granting,
car-trip vacations and meals-at-the-table
held the edges of our worlds together
so our lives were still connected.
Now you build a life apart;
It’s as it should be,
I don’t want to hold you --
But this birthing tears my soul
. . . and nothing fills my arms to erase the pain.