What motherhood was meant for

2E5D3CD5-B75F-4DB4-B154-759438F9C11EIt was never intended for you to be mine
Only that my womb would be the secret place where you were knit
Only that my body would bear the pain that gave you breath.

It was never meant that I would get to keep you close
Only that my days would be crouched low telling you what you did not know
Listening and smiling at your every coo
Wondering at the fact I get to raise you

It was never the plan that I would keep you from falling
Only that when you did I’d come running
Holding you close while you were crying.

It was never my role to teach you everything
Only to rub that spot on your back all knotted up
While you told me you didn’t feel like you would make the cut.

It was never meant for me to hold you tight
To keep you from sin’s deadly plight
Only that I should proclaim to you
The good news that could make you new.

It was never scheduled that you would stay
Only that while you were away
I would pray, and pray and pray…
You were born that way.

One day you will leave
And it is not me to whom you will cleave
Only to another
Someone never meant to be your mother.

The 4th with a plague

backlight backlit countryside dusk

It’s 110 degrees
there’s a significant wind moving the leaves
of our sissoos and elms.
From the window outside looks inviting

I’m tired of being inside
tired of air conditioning and my couch
I want to feel some heat, some breeze
something

Watermelon
that’s what I want
I’ll go get a watermelon

“I’m going to the store for watermelon!” I shout to my husband
laying on the couch watching videos of mountain biking
“That’s all? Watermelon?” my husband questions the necessity of the trip
“I’ve got my mask. I’ll be quick”
and off I went.

I found myself wondering the isles, not being quick
watching people, some masked, others not.
Going to the store wasn’t like this last year
Melon and some popcorn, I check out
a Plexiglas shield between me and my masked cashier

“What are you doing for the 4th, honey?” she asked,
It struck me funny she called me honey
she could have been my daughter
“Just trying to stay safe, you know” I pointed to my mask
“Me too. I wish I could just stay home” she confessed
“I’m sorry dear. I pray you’ll stay safe.”
“Thanks! Happy 4th!”

I was tired of being inside
she just wanted to go home.

Home again I wash my hands
and the fruit
and cut into that idealistic melon.
Small red triangles dotted with black seeds
fill my bowl.
I’m satisfied
but I don’t want to stay inside.

It’s hot
so I walk to the nearest patch of shade in the yard
the stinging invisible rays burning enough
to make me a little uncomfortable.
I brought the rinds from the watermelon
to our goats and chickens
who I found hunkering down, panting in the shade of our aluminum corral

I set the green and red rinds down in their troughs and watched them
get up from their spots
They seemed to enjoy the cold, crunchy shell of the melon
pecking and chomping
refreshed

A neighbor down the alley has started up
the mariachi band that usually plays on Saturday nights
I listen for a bit
Mariachi always sounds like happy children playing in the yard to me
dancing and laughing and chasing each other

There will be no fireworks in town tonight
a young cashier will be calling strangers “honey” from behind Plexiglas
a Latino family down the alley will play mariachi
my friends will fight off panic in the hospital
a woman will grieve that Covid took her love
a daughter will weep that it took her mom
a stranger will call a nurses station hoping for good news
and when the sun to goes down
I’ll sit on the porch and watch the sky
change colors
and pray

Suffocate Death

person in black long sleeve shirt
Photo by Maisa Borges on Pexels.com

Lord, it’s too much
Too much evil
Too much death
Too much weight
Weight my chest can’t bear

I know you say, “Bring it here”
But when I try
I can’t lift it
I can’t speak it
It can’t stay this way

I don’t know how to
Open my mouth and say
All the pain we’re bearing
All the loss
Loss of heart

We’re tired, Lord
I know, my strength is small
Where can I go?
Out here?
Here in my backyard?

The air is still hot out here
Still hot from the fire in the sky
Still thick and heavy
Like a weighted blanket, smothering
Smothering me and my friends

I can’t…
Oh God don’t let us go crazy
Don’t let death win
Don’t let our love grow cold
Cold and hard and numb

It feels like death is winning
It feels like evil’s foot is pressing
Power is crushing
our necks and we can’t…
Can’t breathe

Where are you?
Are you here?
Are you a bystander?
Are you here on the ground?
Ground down fine like dust?

You are with us?
Us dust
Will you raise us up?
Up with you to heaven?
Heaven here, your kingdom

Rise up, Lord!
Raise us up!
Crush evil’s head!
Suffocate death!

Nine

shallow focus photo of moon
Photo by Matt Hardy on Pexels.com

I have the ability to detach
let the fog roll in and relax
into oblivion.

But the flowers on my table
and the crisp, cool morning air
draw me back to beauty.

I have the ability to check-out
and act like everything is fine.
I can move and watch myself
carry on.
Pressing on.
Walking on.
No one knows its me.

I want to run away.
Drive away.
Get away.
Flee like a bird to
that mountain in the Psalms.

Rescue me.
Don’t let me sink.
Don’t let me grow numb.
Don’t let me lie down and sleep
my life away.

I have the ability to seek peace
and pursue it.
I have the ability to stand in the war
and fight for you.
I have the ability to help you hear
and believe.

 

It stings

old wooden boards
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I once had a splinter of wood deep
in the tip of my thumb.

I thought it healed.
But pain continued
where the conniving shard had been.

Red, tender flesh pushed up like play-dough
pressed through a hole in a toy.

This wart-looking-thing festered
bled and hurt so bad,
I sought a doctor.

The doctor diagnosed it: granuloma.
“It’s probably some foreign body
that got under your skin.
It may be a thorn, that caused this.”

I thought the thorn was gone.
Healed.
But it rises, raw and tender
and makes it hard to hug.

Betrayal may be the thorn that never stops festering.
It may be the scar
spontaneously
emerging
painful
and sensitive.
It stings.

New birth memorial

man kneeling in front of cross
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I don’t ever want to forget tonight
when you told me
“Someone else is King,
not me”
and you bent your knee to He.

I don’t ever want this memory to fade
I want it as bright as the new day
that will dawn tomorrow

I want to tattoo it to my arm
and yours too
I don’t ever want to forget you
telling me,
“When I confessed I felt
relief and happiness.”

A Man You Shall Be

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Son tomorrow you turn thirteen

Lemuel’s mother’s words sting

I know ways that destroy kings

And the man that I’m raising

 

Hot tears in my eyes

Lump in my throat

I plead with the Lord

Another story be wrote

 

I know there’s no keeping you from sin

While still in my womb sin was within

 

But I am your mother

God gave you to me

To raise not a boy

But a man you shall be

 

I am His daughter

Saved by his grace

Granted faith in our Savior

Charged to show you His way

 

So when you’re tempted

And enticed by these three

Flesh’s cravings, Eye’s lusts, Pride’s possessions

I pray you’ll remember your mother’s decree

 

“You are a sinner, you need a Savior, and Jesus is he!”

 

Remember Whose you are!

You’re not your mother’s

Nor your father’s

And you’re not your own

 

You bear the Imago Dei

You were created for him

Not for yourself, your dad or me

 

It is God’s plan

That I raise you to be a man

Fully aware of the dangers ahead

I look to the God of Abraham

 

Though his body was good as dead

He believed God

Who always does what He says

He who was able to produce life out of old Sarah

Is able to produce fruit out of his daughter’s labor

 

He is faithful to generations of those who love Him

He who made you my son

Is able to keep

You, who He has entrusted to me

 

Seek him while you are young son

And don’t waste your life

Remember your mom’s faith

And put your hope in Christ!

He’s holding you

selective focus photography cement
Photo by Rodolfo Quirós on Pexels.com

You work so hard
as if the hours you spend
sweating
and digging
planning
arguing
and solving
will make everything right.

Then it rains on your freshly poured concrete
and a sudden wind bends the trees you just planted
and the test is positive- you’re going to have a baby
and your cursing
and anger
and withdrawal
can’t make anything right.

The grass grew though you swore it would never
The trees stood tall after the storm
The concrete dried
The child was born
and you figured out how to hold him.

And one day, I pray
You’ll figure out
He’s holding you.