Mother's Day

By Jennifer Wilson-Pines

Adoptive mom Jennifer Wilson-Pines penned this poem at an introspective moment near Mother's Day 2007. Her comments on the poem: "I have always struggled with my feelings for my daughter's birthparents and her birth mother in particular. It came out as a poem."


One day a year,
The inevitable card, a dinner.
Mediocre chocolates in a box
elaborate enough to satisfy
a three-year-old's discerning taste.

Every day is mother's day
The hands stretched up for a hug,
pizza smeared kisses,
the soft warm weight
tucked in to my arms
trustingly surrendered to sleep.
Even the tired tantrums.

I am a mother
every second of the day.
My daughter is stitched
into every fiber of my life.
I love her with an intensity
that took me by surprise.
Surpassed only by the fear
of losing her.

But she has another mother,
The woman in the mirror,
The shadow, who comes
and goes through invisible doors.

You first felt her stir, roll
and kick inside you.
The contraction that announced
her impending arrival,
heard the first cry, touched
the downy fuzz on her head,

And left her.

And I grapple with this,
As she will sooner than I wish.

Without you, I would not be a mother.
Your loss and hers is my gain.
I honor you by loving her
shiny black hair, rosebud mouth,
She is made of you,
how could I not?

How could I understand
That a few days after her birth,
in the deep of winter,
she was left outside.

When she cries in fear or anger,
"I'm cold,"
I am seized with a rage
as icy and unforgiving
as that January night.

When she tells me the life story
of our formerly feral cat
is the same as hers,
I want to weep,
that I can't change it
or make it go away.

Can I say I would never do the same?
No
Judge not…..

Perhaps it was the desperation
of a mother
who throws her children
from a burning building.
Hoping and praying
that someone will catch them.
That they will be safe.
Perhaps, perhaps,
I will never know.

Do you miss her,
wonder at what might have been,
where is she now?

Our daughter is dancing, far away,
dressed in a Cinderella blue gown.
Serving tea to a stuffed turtle,
singing songs of her own invention.
You will never hear her voice.
She will never see your face.

She is neither you or me.
She is the third way,
already crafting her own story.
You gave her life,
I give her a future.

Happy Mother's Day.

 

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