on being a mother


When he was little, life changed beyond his
control. If he could have, he would have changed
the outcome; however, he survived it.

When I watch him, listen to him, I know
somewhere inside he has not dealt with it
on all the levels; he becomes hyper

when it reaches the edge of awareness.
He pushes it away, more comfortable
with imagination than memory.

Each milestone brings new hurdles to scale,
old wounds open and must be tended to;
this one is no different, only now

it is up to her to calm his nerves, soothe
the pain, ease him back into life and love.



Capture the Yearning

She pulled the leaf from the table yesterday,
knows these cloudless cold days are prone
to solitary meals. Snowbound
she’ll enjoy homemade chili,
steam floating above the bowl
and listen for the whisper of ghosts –

those apparitions from days gone
when the children were small,
the drafty house was a home
and life had yet to fracture into splinters
too fragile to glue back together.

Notebook folded open, she writes.
Inked lines on paper fall one after the other
until they capture the yearning
she suddenly feels for a full table
with all the leaves in place,
the clink of dishes being passed,
wine glasses filled, and laughter.



Shades of Grey

She says they’re usually seen as black holes,
easily identified and normal.
Neither black nor distinct these shades of grey
clustered on the remains of womanhood
left to balance life: today – tomorrow.

Eight weeks of waiting will provide the time
necessary to separate the truth
from the worry, to reassure the mind
the body will be okay – black and white
images cleared of distortion, stable.

This body, empty of pieces taken
for the sake of health, looks to the future:
once colored in vibrant shades suddenly
feels better dressed in simple black and white.


The Sandwich Generation

We’re in-between soft pliability,

our children growing and rising to each
challenge as they take shape in their own right
yet still needing some of our attention;

and the slices of our parents’ lives, those

years filled with experience and flavors
we’ve yet to taste. At times putting on hold
our desires, pushing down ambitions

as we adjust the tension, temperaments
and pace of our lives to those around us.

Afraid of a hollow response, we ask
to be let into those worlds not our own.
Sandwiched between generations, we wait
for the smile and the “I love you, too.”


A Dozen Smiles

A world changed inside
out; the clover has disappeared
beneath revolving blades that cut
everything to the same height
uniformity – leaving no place
untouched for play
save imagination
and memory.

Cloud mountains reflect
faded sunshine
weak in the threat of storms;
shifting shapes bring back
times when we each saw something
different – and shared
them with laughter
and a dozen smiles.

The outside world has shifted;
its reflection of us has changed;
we each see something
– different
in our imagination
in our memory.

© Siobhan
June 7, 2009

Mother’s Voice

Clouds pile up along edges, eager
travelers ready to disembark,
take in the sights, then race on to the next
before the sky lets loose on their parade.

Raindrops overflow, burst when no one moves
fast enough; they’re caught in a spring shower
– sudden and chill, they’d pray for the sunshine
if it didn’t herald their own demise.

Grey casts about to cover blue, protect
the children while they scatter east and west,
unaware of the dangers in leaving
the crowded sky, of wandering away.

A crack of thunder and a lightning stroke,
Mother’s voice calls them all back together.

© Siobhan
May 28, 2009

The Core

She is the core of their worlds, while still
being alone.  She birthed princes, suckled
them at her breast, nurtured them to manhood.

As they walk with purpose toward other lands,
wine, women, and song –
she watches the strength
in their backs, the proud carriage of head high,
and she knows triumph in their successes.

Peel back the outer layer, the smile
resting on un-kissed lips, and reveal her
softness – the pale flesh, tender – touchable.

Her role of mother, cherished over years
of joy and sorrow, shifts to a new light;
no longer confidant for private thoughts
she’s been replaced in their hearts by young love.

Hidden beneath the wisdom of a life
lives a woman, still quite vulnerable
in her desire for passion and love.

Comfort settles around her shoulders and
wraps her in the warmth of remembered hugs;
little boy laughter and tears color each
memory, painting them with enchantment.

Caress the not-so-subtle supple curves,
trace each scar along to its origin;
and expose the pleasure she holds within.

Mother – lover – would-be-wife – and woman
she is the core of their world, and her own.

© Siobhan
May 22, 2009

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