I poured my love into the vessel of you
all the while knowing that I too was responsible for the cracks,
the faulty seams.
Motherhood is a fickle bitch.
Lying beneath your body, deemed failure to thrive, the heat of you
mind and spirit
thinking, this will never pass. I am tethered to this child.
Beckoned, summoned to the backyard again, and
again because you refused to pump your legs, send yourself
soaring on the swing; I will never be mine own again.
Hearing, but not recognizing my shrill voice, half- choked
swearing I Hate You Back
as a door on the third floor slams.
You remind me how many times I sent you to school
when you complained of being ill; I didn’t believe you.
You tell others about how I forced you to wear shoes that didn’t fit,
because I didn’t believe you.
Will you believe me now when I tell you, I wake from dreams certain I am
holding your small hand,
I hear laughter in the garden, and look for you, golden, throwing a ball,
I can remember all of it, all of it now, all the blood and tears,
the failures, mostly mine, the triumphs, all yours, all of it
and yes, yes, I am tethered, yes I will never be my own again
and my god, I would crawl the earth to keep it all