I am torn as a mother. I am mended

On our walk, I don’t question the nocturnal nature of crickets as I hear one chirping confidently in daylight, the fact that it’s morning, that it’s winter. But winter here is the taste of citrus on a cool breeze with warm tendrils promising warm days.
We run over a decomposing bird with Jack’s red tricycle. I forget that I’ve made a note to avoid it. I don’t want it stuck to us, following us as we pass the neighborhood’s progress: old houses being renovated, the ocotillo fuzzy with green after so many bare months, newly laid lawns. I’ve been gifted this perfect egg – an egg who seems happy pushing the reach of my hands, rolling off couches, throwing itself to the ground testing just how hard the world can hit. I don’t want him to know yet. Not quite yet.
I wonder if he saw the bird? If he can somehow feel death? If that knowledge is something we are inherently born with? Life is so loud, but he is the drum – the steady innocence, the same corners we pass, the same bricks, mailboxes and feral cats; the beat of my life and he calls to them without fear. The world has yet to teach him these things. I wish I didn’t have to.
I am torn as a mother. The day he was fastened to life, I broke. And he takes and everyone takes and I keep my body wide open to suck in as much as I can to give away in the same instant. He needs breakfast – to see me properly using a fork. He needs music – to see me closing my eyes to something greater than myself. He needs love – to watch his father kiss me before leaving for work. He needs everything.
I am mended as a mother. The days after he broke me, I began to heal. The stitches dissolved, the bleeding stopped. I can see who he was, who he is and who he will be in the same instant. He is the dream I build awake, sleeping and in all the delirium between. In his eyes my past mistakes and heartbreaks hold no weight, there is only the downy feather he sees tumbling through the grass and the giant black bee buzzing above his head. The world is beginning and I will always remain the first person he ever knew.
As we round the corner for home, I hear the chirping, peek into a bush to see if we can discover the culprit together, but it stops. We move and the chirping begins again and I quickly realize it was never a cricket defying his night song, but the wheel of Jack’s tricycle carrying us through the morning.

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4 Responses to I am torn as a mother. I am mended

  1. Ms. Moon says:

    Perfect poem of motherhood.
    Beautiful in all regards.

    • rachelvb says:

      Thank you, thank you, Mary. If nothing else these little things will help me remember him this way. Every day is something grander in his world. xoxo

  2. Angella says:

    This is an exquisite poem. You should get it published in a journal or maybe in the New Yorker. It needs a wide audience. I am so moved by it. They break us. They heal us. Yes.

    • rachelvb says:

      Wow, thank you so much Angella. I’m definitely holding on to it =) If nothing else to say I was here. But I would like to place it somewhere if I can. The New Yorker?! I can dream big! love to you! xoxo

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