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  • Mj Pettengill

I Might Dream You Home


Mother and Child, Public Domain
Mother and Child, Public Domain

A Mother’s Poem


It’s been so long

Since you went away,

My butterscotch curls

Are silver and gray.


The photos and books

That I left on the shelf

Are long boxed and packaged

Still dear to myself.

For all of those nights

Filled with sweet lullabies

Are bittersweet memories—

Now tears in my eyes.

Every hug and assurance

And hurt that was kissed

Reside in my heart

So dearly missed.

From the very first time

You fluttered in the womb

Our bond was then forged,

Our heartstrings in tune.

Our roots grow deeply,

Within the rich Earth

A mother’s love is fierce

And continues to birth.

It doesn’t end or begin,

On the day you were born,

As the stars in the sky

Don’t depart in the morn.

Brilliant and bright

Is the perpetual light

From the sphere of a mother

In the darkest night.

Love continues to grow,

As the days move along

Like the unsung refrain

Of a cardinal’s song.

I pray for all

That is fair and good

For I vowed to keep you safe

It is all understood.

A mother knows how

To break apart and share

The love for her children

With some left to spare.

Worries and Fear

Wash away the night

When your unfurled wings,

Prepare to take flight.

When wayward angels

Show up; when they stray

I might dream you home,

If just for a day.

Until then, I must

Be right here where I know,

And think not of tomorrow

Or the undreamed soul.

Did I teach you well?

Was my embrace too strong?

Will you remember me now,

Or after I’m gone?

It’s time to lift up

A heart that grew heavy

Letting go of earthly things

It’s time; I’m ready.

A mother’s joy

Is in all that we do

When we’ve raised our young

Is there nothing more to do?

For them and for me

I will carry the torch

—a fire for burning

And not meant to scorch.

We can love; we can wait,

But ’tis how we will tire

Forgetting to tend

To our own inner fire.

To my children, I say

I’m here every hour

And my love for you

Blooms with the wildflowers. Just as the seasons Come and they go. There is life that awaits Beneath the ice and snow.

Scattered about

Between Heaven and Earth

Is a child’s untamed soul

Before she gave birth. I will find all her pieces, And open the door, To welcome her home, —the young girl from before.

Somewhere surrounding

Both the night and the day

I became an old woman

When you went away.

© Mj Pettengill

February 2, 2022