Mother, A Poem
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copyright 2013, Brandi Kennedy
We all have one. Some of us love her beyond measure. Some of us despise her, resent her. But she's always there. She's inside our hearts, because we are inside hers.
Formed within the womb of the mother, we are birthed into the world, guided in our journeys, shaped and sculpted by her influence. Sometimes we look back and remember good things we didn't see before; other times we look back, desperately seeking something good that simply wasn't there.
There are those of us who grow up without knowing what it's like to have a mother's guidance. There are those of us who grow up without having someone pet their hair back from their fevered foreheads, those of us who don't remember the gentle touch of a mother's hand.
Of those, many are now mothers themselves, now facing the choice of what they will become as mothers to their own children. Will they be gentle, loving guides who take their children by the hand and show them the safety of a mother's protection? Or are they ruled by the influence of the past, unable to rise and become:
She swells slowly,
quietly creating life
over days, months.
Her belly grows,
and with the gentle beat of a new heart
her life changes forever.
Her own heart becomes
something that it wasn't before: full,
basking in the life and the promise of the unborn.
Birth comes upon her,
the life within her womb stretching,
reaching out for the adventure of life in the world.
And she holds her baby
her pink, soft offspring curled perfectly
held for a time within the safe confines of her arms.
But the birth of the child,
brings the birth of another creature:
She becomes something entirely new
someone all-important, someone she never knew she could be awakens inside her heart.
She becomes necessary, everything that matters to a helpless soul swaddled in diapers.
She watches, listens,
firmly, gently persistent.
She is nurse, counsel,
doctor, healer, love.
Each new year on the face of the child
brings indescribable wisdom to the mother
and she grows with her child, learning, changing.
She becomes the willing sacrifice,
she goes without her deepest desires, she contentedly takes last place.
And it is in love that she is able to give so much of herself.
Someday she will face
quiet mornings, no more bedtimes
no more diapers, children gone.
And yet they will call, they will return,
to need her, to love her, and they will continue to learn
because wherever they may be, whoever they might become,
she is, and will remain: