Mother

 

We are seen and not heard.
We are praised and not understood.

We are not saints, martyrs, super women.
We are human.
We are strong and fragile,
beautiful and lumpy.

We are quietly grieving, terrified, raging.
We are dripping with tears and blood and milk.
We are unrecognizable and still, somehow, ourselves.

We are empty-wombed and longing.
We are wheeled through hospital halls with
full breasts and empty arms.

We are not archetypes.
We are human.
We are strong and fragile,
fierce and soft.

We are watched but not seen.
We are alone and surrounded.
We are sure and we are shaken.

We are dying too soon.
We are laboring, sweating, pushing, bleeding.
Sometimes unsure of being called “mother” in the end.
We are loving our children from jail,
from under the weight of
addiction,
depression,
abuse.

We are separated from our children
by borders, by poverty, or
because we have not been safe for them.

We are wholly theirs.
We are fractured and fragmented and distracted.

We are reaching out for our own mothers
who are no longer there.
We are lost and finding our way.

We are not saviors.
We are human.
We are strong and broken,
beautiful and scarred.
We are held up and unsupported.

We hold them all night long,
give kisses, read stories, cook dinners.
We slam doors and yell cuss words and
break our own hearts.
We cry ourselves to sleep and rise with headaches and puffy eyes.
We teach and unravel.
We worry and we hope.

We are not a heartwarming commercial.
We are a memoir full of dreams and pain and joy — testimonies of faithfulness and
prayers yet unanswered.

We are human.
We are strong and we are broken,
beautiful and fierce.