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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mothering my Boy

Parenting is not static. It is a trip you are taken on. From the moment I brought my boy home I knew I was in over my head, but I have never before or since been so happy to be out of my depth.

This first poem was written when my son was growing out of the toddler years. It was my attempt to claim our trials as triumph. It is also a rallying cry for parents, an ode to the important work we do.

My Work Supersedes the GNP

My work enfolds me
            heart and sinew
            brain and marrow
It is my job, it is my work.
It is next to me in my dreams.
Moves with me while I dance
late, to the blues in smoky bars.
When I drive down the coast
my work sits in the co-pilot seat.
Right this minute my job kneels beside me
hungry and demanding. My job
is my throbbing skull
is my empty pockets.

The tools of my trade
are sidewalk chalk
            and fairy whispers. Kisses
and Star Wars Band-Aids.

I make heroes from cell division.

Now my boy has grown and I am in awe. I look back at the evolution of our love. He has grown to be someone I am very proud to call my son, but I recognize that so much of who he is has nothing to do with me. I am finding that there is a lot of push-pull in having an almost grown child. My stars are re-aligning, right along with his.

Celestial Shift

New born. Soft 
cheeks, blistered lip - the world
arrested on its axis.
Some children 
phase us because 

of the deep hurt in
them and the ways
they are pain in the world. When
I was pregnant I read
grisly midwives-tales:
Some babies are born at odds
in the world and find no ease
at home. For ten lunar months
I obsessed
about babies in the wrong place. What I 

gave birth to was not. If there was
one thing about my boy it was
luminous alien-baby beauty, if there
was one thing it was how easily we fit - first
child - only. Eighteen

years. We cruise through morning
kitchen rituals. Long car rides
lead to insights about the old familiar
at our elbow. I am preparing for this

Celestial Shift. When this stalwart
of my heart moves away.

P.S. This took me a long time to post because some of the words (which looked fine in compose mode) would appear highlighted in white in the preview mode. I fixed it by re-typing the poems, so it appears to be a formatting issue. If anyone has any insight about how to fix or avoid the problem I would appreciate tips!


  1. I'm so glad to see you here, Sofie. Doing what you are meant to do. Lovely, lovely words...

    1. Thank you, Cathy. We have to use these tools to our advantage, yes?

  2. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words!

    1. Thank you, Shannon, for reading. & commenting ;)

  3. Your words are gorgeous and reach out to even the childless (me) and squeeze my heart. Thank you!

  4. My heart rolls forward and backward with you in time. I see you-him-me-my daughter all tumbled together in your wise words and captured memories. Just lovely. Thank you!

  5. Really nice. Really really nice.

  6. I SO feel these. My work, my joy. I can't even imagine how it feels to have your boy grow up and move away. Gahh!!

    1. Some day you won't have to imagine! I love you all!

  7. Sofie! So many lines that touch my heart, especially "I make heroes from cell division" and "stalwart of my heart." I love how you love your son, and I'm glad to read your words about that love.