She’s been on my mind for thirty four years
but I’ve never seen her face in full bloom.
I’ve known only the weight of her presence
on tummy and soul.
Her pretty head was bruised
by the forceps that pulled her from me.
My heart was bruised
as I signed papers
with grown-up words
I was sixteen; her eyes never met mine.
She was quickly shuffled away
into deserving arms.
I remember only how tightly
her slender fingers clutched mine
as they took her.
Today I sit down to write
of many letters
I’ve been allowed to send her
these past four and a half years,
(words that, until before then,
were confined to my heart and journals).
It’s a dream-come-true
that they reach her at last.
A beautiful miracle, really,
and I’m grateful.
I’ve written her earliest stories
….all of my whys and ways taken,
shared everything I imagine she may want to know
about her birth-mother,
carefully ladling generous portions of my heart
into her cup.
The package I gently wrap in respect
for the person she is
and the journey that is hers,
and for the woman who is her mother
and the legacy that is hers,
and for the choice that is my birth-daughter’s:
to respond, or wait, or do nothing at all.
I’ve released her,
my love will not wobble with her choosing.
And I ride the brakes of my own heart
until it’s burning and smoking and reeking of ancient ache
and the muzzled voice
of my younger self
as all of the loss
comes shrieking from shut down places.
As I pick up my pen and begin to push it,
slicing off another serving of the tender portions of me,
I bleed out words to Dear Amanda
and arrange them with hands that shake
from holding back the surge
of my long ago voice,
muzzled and buried alive
that erupts with such fury
my heart rips a bit
with each pulse.
And as my swallowed words tumble onto paper,
un-forbidden and staring back with fiery rebellion,
I let them be,
let them say themselves.
And I feel them,
feel them all the way down to my broken places
until I’m spent with their leaving.
Then I wad up that paper
and start with a clean one
and fill it with my own grown words,
sturdy ones that lift and carry my voice
grown bold and strong.
I’m grateful for this grown-up voice
and use it now to say the words I couldn’t say before
I. wanted. you.
I WANTED you.
I want you still.
On behalf of the child I used to be
I hurl those words into the universe
and with pain soaked in peace
I begin to write……
(I’m submitting this today as a part of Liv Lane’s e-course challenge on authenticity
to write something that you’ve not dared to share before.
I shared it before…..last year,
this especially tender ache.
But time has made it all new again,
my limp more pronounced
my limp more pronounced
…the feeling of rejection sharper,
the loss crisper,
the unanswered longing deeper
and so I offer it up to you today.
Please hold it gently.)