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Like a Mother

I feel like a mother
when I cut the crust off your sandwich bread
careful to leave enough to hold some carefully planned nutrition
My heart is full when we talk together about spirit
curled under your feathery purple and red blankets
and a drooping white canopy
with the only fear being that you will soon figure out
what my unfulfilled longings are
before I do
I can hardly bear it when you are mean or quick to those who love you the most
It’s like seeing an old movie about myself that I should have walked out on
I feel pride when you leap into life with passion
and hunger to read and write to the rest of us
and instantly grasp the things
it took me more than forty years to figure out
I anguish that evil must be explained
before it explains itself and shatters the balance
of fear and knowing
I never cared for trading your sleep for mine
Only saw pain in the challenge to create energy from sleeplessness
making sleep more valuable than it deserves to be
I do miss having you at my breast
those peaceful brown eyes
wide and full as your mouth
I am not like my mother
perhaps more like hers but with more of a fight
I will continue to scribe the changes
and feed you with my power
and fruits of the earth
lend a hand to the new world, the millennium
with a sword of truth and a lifetime of poetry
ballads sung with the thrill of creation
love thick and bittersweet
with a promise
to keep the light on
– Debra L. Alt, “Like a Mother”, 1999

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