from The Lake House by Kate Morton

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“Some of us just aren’t very good at being helped.” p 31

I’ve got mothering on the mind:

Last week~
We ate dinner out
with our dear friends.
I watched our two
almost grown children
talk and laugh
as if they were alone
in a world of their own
fantastical construct.
Their interests
intersecting and overlapping.
I glimpsed the future then,
with the four of us parents
reverting back
to a state of coupledom.
I saw on my friend’s face
the inevitability of it.
All of our years
caring and nurturing
have led to this.
The laws of nature
slowly take over
as we open and release.

A few days ago~
I visited a friend’s barn
to hold the new bundles.
Buff-colored  triplets
not yet a week old.
I held each, moving and swaying;
my body rhythmic in the ways of old
when my son was tiny and needed
to be rocked to sleep.
I listened
to the mama goat’s bleating.
A sonorous echolocation
that justifies the level of worry.
I sat in the hay
and marveled at motherhood.
How something so
primal and elemental
brings pain and worry;
delight and joy.

Thursday~
A work day.
I peeled a grapefruit for lunch.
When I heard a patron
descending the stairs
I rammed a piece in my mouth
and tried to swallow.
As it became clear
that I couldn’t breathe
the patron came to my aid
grabbing me in her arms
and calling for help.
Her own young son
panic-stricken at the sight
of his mother forced
to play another role.
Everyone did their part
while I struggled for air.
Afterwards staff
and patrons alike
laid their hands on me,
offering wordless comfort.
It came to me then,
that the more we nurture
and cherish others,
the less likely we are
to receive the mothering
ourselves.

Tomorrow~
Mother’s Day.
Time spent
doing whatever I choose.
A Being thankful.
B. Maybe planting pansies.
C. Or eating pastries.
D Or reading and drinking tea.
E All of the above.
But the best treat—
my son will be home
from school on Tuesday.
I want to listen to him talk
of finals and goodbyes,
the end of freshman year,
and how college changes a man.
I will smile and hold him close,
for I know
these moments are fleeting.

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