A mother

(work in progress....)

Have you ever
Loved a mother
Big warm belly and rough hands
There are a million lovable girls
Thin and flexible
Taut muscles and long eyelashes
Yearning to be held and told they are
Have you ever held
A mother
Who has nothing left to give
Who has poured identity and energy and DNA into others for so long she's forgotten that she is

Have you felt the thick slab of strength, your stomach
Press against nothing but space and longing
Where stretched skin bears marks
Of courage and creation
Have you traced the lines with your fingers
Your tongue
Prayed to her motherhood, believed in rebirth

You have been loved by a mother
Likely your whole life
When you screamed and screamed for food
and shelter and warmth and
Utterly unlovable
You took and took and took and
took and took and took and took and
You have been loved

But have you dared to press dry lips against the nape of graying neck
Have you entertwined fingers with dishwater hands or
Spent hours picking pieces of glass from her hair
She has stood underneath ceilings that have shattered
She has been a soft place for others to land
Have you
Drawn a mother's legs against you
Have you played her music from your childhood
Held an earbud to her ear
Whispered poetry about
Lines and courage and creation
Told her about cravings
Every mother has a different story and mantra
Every mother will hold your secrets against her chest
Within her heartbeat
Within her deepest breath
Within the way her eyes open wide
If you hover above her nipple, blow warmth across her navel
If you rest your head and your heart
in between her legs
Have you given
And given and given
and given and given and given
Because she has
She has

No mother needs you.

She has created life out of spit and fire and calendars and deliverance
When she chooses you
She has chosen
Freedom is the craving and the choice

Have you?
Loved a mother
Aged face and hallowed bones
Secrets written on sinew and stubborn wit
Round and soft with time and grace yet

(This is the way the world is reborn)