Who do you imagine I am?

Every day since you
emerged protesting
into the rude glare of
fluorescent hospital
lights
you’ve
known
mother.

A person
{we won’t even speculate if gender enters into it}
who makes rules
picks gravel from cuts
puts dinner on
the table at 6
o’clock {most} nights.
Rescues.
Listens.
Teaches.

A person who
exists
for you?

Maybe those
haphazard take-out food
nights when dinner was
distraction,

maybe you glimpsed
my shadow
behind
the mother mask?

Did tendrils of
untamed mixed silver
hair slip free
when I wasn’t
looking?

Or did my carefully
muted wild woman
howls
escape
in your
hearing?

Did you wonder
at stealthy footfalls
on full moon
nights?

The creak of the
long-since-locked
kitchen door
giving away
my yearning to be
coated in
her silver light…

I never was like
all the other
moms

no matter
how hard
I tried
to stuff my
round wandering
self into
their mold.

Our house smelled
like herbs
and oils
and all your friends
noticed.

I wrote with the
voice of wildness
and tried to heal
broken souls
while healing
my own.

Maybe the harder
I tried to look
the same the more
different I
seemed?

You who are
fragments of me
wrapped in unique
and wonderful souls…

who do you imagine I am?

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Tracie Nichols writes poetry and facilitates group writing experiences from under the wide reach of two old Sycamore trees in southeastern Pennsylvania. She is the co-founder of the Embodied Writers writing group and a Transformative Language Artist helping women write themselves home. You can find Tracie on her website.

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