Motherhood Poem (in many parts)

Part 2: Toddlerhood

Oh mama,

I see you willing roots down

to hold you steady

in the storm of the hour…

this time about yogurt

or the wrong shirt.


I see the ache of a house divided.

Half heartbroken

to close the flow

between your body and his…

and half repulsed by one more nipple twist

or draw on your life force.

Confused by the void between

these two truths.


I see you

running after

scooping up

hopping over


garden peeing

sleep sweeping

packing back-up pants

rubbing bonks

and boy grub

scrubbing renewing goo

talking circles around the “whys”

desperately trying to remember

Who. Am. I.

While largely alone

on an in-home marathon

subsisting on toast crust and apple peels.


Oh and I do see those narnia portals

when sleep and luck align

and there’s painting on rocks

shaping puppets out of socks,

tissue paper masterpieces

and fort fortresses.

When the slow hours burst open

to a storybook look and lean

into the mystery of innocence

and an unfiltered creative queen.


And I feel your chest load

when you realize between tantrums

just how big this love is…

on the brink of explode…

That your very heart is out there wild

jumping off stairs

standing on chairs

playing with an unknown child.

A beautiful mind of his own

with his own scars to collect,

his own stepping stones.


And oh mama,

I see you lift loud toddler from the cart

to rest on that 8-month belly

for the next month get him closer to your heart,

and you sneeze...and pause…

look down with exasperation,

just as you feared...

end up walking weird

with a coat around your waist

as you finish the grocery list in haist.