Celebrating Mother's Day and the upcoming Listen to Your Mother show by re-posting some of my motherhood-themed poems this week...
My sixteen-year-old boy arrived at the hospital at 6:30
that Saturday morning to sit with me.
He sat between the window and my bed, his long fingers
curled around my own IV-taped hand.
And he was beautiful,
his lanky body bent over my bed, partially
shadowed by the window-framed sun.
He had gotten up so early just so he could sit with me
before his track and field meeting at school,
but I couldn’t move my morphine-heavy
eyes and lips to talk to him.
It seemed like I should say so much,
but I could only manage a few I-love-yous and
you-don’t-have-to-stays. But he did.
I kept drifting out and tripping up in my own
bad dreams and staples and tubes. I couldn’t
quite hold myself there with him. I kept wandering,
two nights back, to my mumbling pre-surgery prayers.
And I realized I could have done better.
Instead of my weak now-and-at-the-hour-of-our-deaths
and acts of contrition, I should have just said,
Look Lord, Here Lord, I made this boy.
And that would have been enough.