Mom, you just need to “drop into” what makes you happy when you need to, my skateboarding son told me today. I was complaining about how I hadn’t even attempted to write a poem, or even a line of one in a week.
Earlier I was at the store picking out Mother’s Day cards. (Insert heat and tension into body here.) One for my mom, and one for Sam’s first mom. We haven’t heard from her for almost two years. One day, I trust we will again. In the meantime, I am working my way towards a little more of the truth as I care to remember it surrounding our meeting. Surrounding her son. He was not my son yet.
Each poem is another attempt at (un)wrapping that baby blanket more honestly this time.
This poem I started a few weeks ago. It is in process. It is not finished. (Are they ever?) A much earlier version was originally crafted during a period of extreme struggle and conflict at home. Marcel was around two and Sam was closer to six. I had sought out support from a counseling professional with a background in adoption. We were a collective hot mess.
If I were a child, the therapist said,
I would want to hear how I was adored,
and grabbed up
the moment my mother first laid eyes on me.
You mean the the moment
the terror struck-I-am-not-ready-to-mother-
mother first laid eyes on you?
Eyes too flooded with grief for
your last last nine months
to even see you.
You, our most beautiful boy in the world.
But those lines will stay locked inside
my body. Hidden from me for years.
I just shake my head
and listen as carefully as I can.
Retell the story, she says
and let him know that he was not
in your arms gently.
But grabbed up and into your heart.
Erase the doubt?
Like how your mother’s name was erased
from your birth certificate?
Erased so my name could take a load off
and lay down to get all cuddle cozy next to yours
on your certificate of live birth.
Retell the story of our knowing as an eager and brightly lit me
bursting into her room,
and scooping you up,
tight to my heart in a whirlwind
with no distance between between us.
So I did.