Dearest Mothers and all those who Mother---for YOU!!
Consider it Mother's Day Week, or better, Mother's Week! In your honor, here's a poem written in the thick of those diaper-changing days. And if you're long past, come and remember with me that profoundly sense-filled experience!
Baby, I do for you what Mother did for me.
So personal, this knowledge of your eliminations:
Amounts, hourly schedules, colors, smells,
The warmth of the plumped plastic.
So personal this place on you,
But how quickly the gaze goes medical.
There is deeper knowledge here,
And as I wipe and swipe
and swath in white
Like cloth over wounds,
I have learned the necessary secrets of your body
And know my next prescription.
Baby, you are getting older now,
An unwilling patient past passivity,
Busy on the rebellious route: The foot in the thick of it,
The exploring hand, the smeared clothes
As you try to stand. . . .
To wrestle or coo or doctor,
We meet on this mat times past counting.
I am wrapping my days around you,
My soft absorbant days that snug your hips,
And as I slowly peel off each one,
How you fill them baby!
How you fill every one!
-------Leslie Leyland Fields
Just one more: Remember the terror-joy of the pregnancy test? How many of these did I take? The last two---in my mid-forties
Is this really possible? I thought, shocked and appalled at even the possibility. It was indeed.
It's a mini chemistry set:
tubes, vials, rubber stopper,
test stick, white crystalline powder,
liquids. At least
you supply the most important part,
waiting that long night
for the first splash of morning
into the small cup,
then adrenaline eyes devouring the directions
opened like a map on the vanity.
Step one: remove grey stopper.
Step two: this is the recipe
for making a child, you think. A little
of this, little that. Stir, rinse, spin.
You go to the living room,
act casual while someone' life
waits to be made.
When you can, you return calmly
to the only thing that matters,
your mind picking petals from a daisy . . .
You have practiced how to be happy
either way, and now
all you want is knowing.
Pink is the color--any shade at all.
Don't breathe. Even from the doorway,
a soul can look so pale.
----Leslie Leyland Fields
And here is who those pink lines became . . .
Love to all you mothers and those who have mothered. Thank you for loving children---yours and others---so wildly, so indiscriminately, with such beautiful, heart-breaking endurance. Just as you will never forget the ones you have born and nursed and taught and raised, so God will never forget you, His most precious daughter.
With so much love to you all,