A Mother

From In Celebration of Mothers:

If you recall the weight of a baby in your arms
If you still remember first words, first steps so small
If you’ve packed a lunch or chopped up fruit
And upon the steel benches watched sport been won and lost
If you have been sleep weary from the hours spent waiting
To hear returning footsteps
If you wore the carpets bare when such news was not forthcoming
If you held breath for exam results or test results
Or just a message for proof of life
If you have held a hand when pain abounds when hearts first broke or friends forsook
And if in the mall you’ve searched for a child who’s disappeared
Or if you have known the ache of loss
Before you ever had a chance to hold close your heart’s desire
When every month is in vain
Have you stayed at troubled bedsides, looked upon the forever young,
Walked empty handed from the hospital ward
Or empty-wombed have cleaved your purpose to promote the lives of children?
If from afar you have been captured by the children in your life
Be they tied by blood, or promise
Or simply by your desire to protect these innocent and vulnerable.
If you have known these things and born their joy and  pain
You are indeed a mother
And Mothers’ Day is yours.

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