the edges of myself

words, words, words

I never read the rules for mothering

it seems I was absent that day–

perhaps all of us were.

Carrying around the textbook burden of guilt,

the weight of which mocks our

shortcomings and reveals the all-too

constant truth that we’re just winging it.


Each new day, another brave face–

scooping up the pieces and soldiering on.

Content and smiling with the spoils of the day–

an unprompted thank you, pictures on the

fridge professing a love that is unquestioned

and unfathomably real– beyond any measure.


Tracing trails around the house–

discarded socks and half-eaten treasures,

a life of yes’s and no’s, pleases and thank yous

the giving and giving and giving and giving

though if given any other choice– we’d refuse it.


Tiny fingers and toes, growing past our own–

the curve of a cheek and dimpled smile

retracing years of devotion– reminders of the

sweet days, before language gave width and breadth

and life continued moving forward despite our

most desperate pleas to STOP

for just this one




The trick being– it never does, never will.

These sweet moments simply pile

one on top of the other and weave through each other

to create the constant film for which there is no

rewind or pause or fast forward.

Time will allow us only to


One thought on “ode to motherhood

  1. BillMiller says:

    Mandy, your words on motherhood are quite lovely.

    I visited your site a year ago around Mother’s Day. And here I am again.

    Second Mother’s Day Without My Mother
    Mother’s Day without my mom was easier this year. Thankfully I’ve found true love in the arms of a strong caring woman, my only wish being that I had met her earlier in life.

    On mother’s day I reflected on a dream I had in mid-April. It was an extremely lucid dream just before awaking in the morning. In it, my mother came returned. Words fail me here in my description. It was unmistakably her presence, but an intensely powerful energy of love-light. I remember thinking at the time that it felt as if it were the most powerful loving presence that I had ever experienced, although I cannot now say for sure. At the height of its intensity I woke up, and thought to myself, “WOW! What a dream,” because that is how my rational waking mind perceived it.

    So I got up out of bed, wiped away a tear, and started my day as usual with coffee, yogurt, vitamins, meds, etc. Only later in the day did I see my calendar and notice that it was in fact the one-year anniversary of her death. Did she come back to say, “Don’t worry about me, I’m alright”? All I know is that it comforts me to think so, and that I hope that she can come back to visit next year also.

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