I never read the rules for mothering
it seems I was absent that day–
perhaps all of us were.
Carrying around the textbook burden of guilt,
the weight of which mocks our
shortcomings and reveals the all-too
constant truth that we’re just winging it.
Each new day, another brave face–
scooping up the pieces and soldiering on.
Content and smiling with the spoils of the day–
an unprompted thank you, pictures on the
fridge professing a love that is unquestioned
and unfathomably real– beyond any measure.
Tracing trails around the house–
discarded socks and half-eaten treasures,
a life of yes’s and no’s, pleases and thank yous
the giving and giving and giving and giving
though if given any other choice– we’d refuse it.
Tiny fingers and toes, growing past our own–
the curve of a cheek and dimpled smile
retracing years of devotion– reminders of the
sweet days, before language gave width and breadth
and life continued moving forward despite our
most desperate pleas to STOP
for just this one
The trick being– it never does, never will.
These sweet moments simply pile
one on top of the other and weave through each other
to create the constant film for which there is no
rewind or pause or fast forward.
Time will allow us only to