General Poetry posted January 17, 2022


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To my wife, the mother of our four children

A Mother's Love Song

by Theodore McDowell

As a child, she loved you as her favorite doll
bought at the five and dime,
braided your hair into a ponytail,
bathed you in the sink with a washcloth,
cooed to you with her mother’s voice,
stuck a band-aid on your knee when you
tumbled from the chair, cradled you
in her arms at night, and rocked you
into her womb-like dreams.
 
Before you were conceived,
she named you, prayed for you,
imagined your tiny hand
gripping her finger as you rested
on her chest.
 
She loved you
from the first kick and shift within her.
 
She adored you
when the ultrasound
tracked your heartbeat
galloping inside her womb.
 
Her body came alive
when you found comfort
sucking on her breasts. She wept
with an ancient passion.
 
In the crevice between night and day,
She tucked her baby away, covered
you with downy prayers, swaddled
you in sweet dreams. Her whispers
blessed you, echoes of a drum brush
lightly swishing across the drumhead.
Her kisses anointed you, the faint feel
of sunlight breaking free from clouds,
gently warming your cheek.
 
Now, in the middle of the night,
she waltzes with you around
the darkened room, wishing
lullabies could always soothe
the sorrows you will bear.
 
She can’t promise to protect you
from the bruises and scars of your life,
my dear,
but she can help you dare to love enough
to break open your heart
like an alabaster jar. 

 



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