Insanirty: The Asylum

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Shape of a Mother

What is the shape of a mother?
History has not been so kind to me,
So I don't think I can answer fairly.
Mother, to me, has never been real--
An elusive shape shifter that calls on the phone
or an emotionally distant shadow
that dangles out of reach, just barely
Just enough--to keep me begging for more...
What is the shape of a mother?
Is she the one with the needle in her arm?
The straw up her that hedonistic life?
Willing to drop all...forget all...for a moment's worth of pleasure?
Is she the one who takes in the lost sheep
Because her own she couldn't keep?
Fill us with hopes, dreams, and lies
then bash them to pieces before our very own eyes?
What is the shape of a mother?
Is she but seventeen
confused, a kid, a girl with innocence lost?
Or is she forty-five
gearing up for round two or three?
Did they even really want me
What is the Shape of a Mother?
Is she thin, model thin, with wispy black hair
Mysterious blue-green eyes and that cigarette
balancing between her fingers
like a painted butterfly without wings?
Or is she not?
Perhaps a little jealousy for things of vain
lost over youth foolishly spent.
What is the Shape of a Mother?
Bruised, bended, broken
by life's unfortunate toils
leaves but an emotional heap
on the burden of my shoulders
Leaving me to ask
"What is the shape of a mother
supposed to be?"
A woman.
A woman who loves unselfishly.
A woman who cares unconditionally.
A woman who knows what it's like to feel pain.
A woman who'd do it all again
without blinking an eye.
What is the Shape of a Mother?
A woman with stretch marks
to prove her courage.
The courage to say
"I'm more beautiful now than I ever was--
all because of this little life that grew from me"
A woman who's not afraid
of nursing her child
from her breast,
from her heart,
knowing that it's best
What is the Shape of a Mother?
A woman who yearns for a healthy body
not for vanity
or wishful thinking
but because she knows
she's got to around to see hear
grandbabies cry,
to see them walk,
and say
"I love you."
What is the Shape of a Mother?
A woman with an open mind
enough to see the differences
in the world without
closing them out.
But not a naive mind--
The world can be a dangerous place
and someone
needs to be there to
pick up the pieces
because there will be pieces.
What is the Shape of a Mother?
A woman that wants to be...
That woman could be you...
That woman is me.


  1. I really appreciate your poem. It's beautiful. I know the yearning your expressed in the first part from my own history, and I have tried to be the mother in the second part. Thank you for sharing it.

    Would you mind if I shared it on my blog?

    Susan Singer