Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Bubbles (My poems): Step by Step

Why didn't they tell you how
complicated it would be
when they handed you a little girl,
aflush with life and your blood,
a swaddling of soft white cotton with
black marble eyes that never leave you
though they dart about you,
looking to see more.

Why didn't they tell you that
you are her mother
and she will turn to you for everything -
how to be a girl,
to be a woman,
to be a person of her own,
even though you are still learning the steps yourself.

She will look to you to show her,
but then she’s also going to shut

you out when she thinks she knows everything
and then you have to watch her
walk alone...

She may make the choices you taught her she wanted,
or will you watch her go astray
or will she shut the door
and keep you from seeing

her repeat your mistakes,
because she thinks she knows the answers

just like you knew everything
when your mother tried to tell you.


Speaking of motherhood, I read recently an observation. When father is converted to a verb, "fathering," it means providing a sperm (e.g., he fathered 2 children and adopted 1). When mother is converted to a verb, "mothering," it means so much more (e.g., she questioned her mothering ability) The word itself conveys feelings of warm laps and convenient shoulders for tears, nurturing of the body and mind. So, again, the mother bears the bigger burden.

However, "mothering" is one letter away from "smothering." - So, please keep that in mind!


Anonymous said...

I never thought of that word connection between mothering and smothering, but now I can see it does exist.

AppleLina said...