Photo Credit: Annie Spratt
I was eager
and he was young
I was ready
but he was numb
I was happy
and he was still
I was hopeful
but he was nil
We had some laughs
We had some smiles
I read to him at night
Does he remember those times?
Then I had his brothers
and he backed away
or did I hedge him out?
who could truly say?
Come to me sweet boy
not you, I mean him
I mean all 3 of you silly
I mean all of 3 of them
It's different they all say
he's not your blood
Is it different? Aren't they all different?
It's clouded. It's mud.
I'm stuck and he's stuck.
He looks and I look.
We smile and they smile.
I ache and he aches.
We give and we take and sometimes it all breaks.
His daddy can't get it. How could he? It's pointless.
But I have to get it. And do it. And "go on, sis"
Keep going. Keep numbing.
I didn't know it. He didn't know it.
We didn't know it but we did it and here we are and we are in it.
So I look at him, a product as much of me as his dad.
And I don't know what to do with it. I have these other 2 on my tab.
The deductions, subtractions, additions?, conditions?
It's all hard and whoever says that it isn't just ISN'T
telling the truth dear. See I try to be real.
He's "not mine" but I'm his and we're each other's and how does that feel?
Would I change it?
Some days I would. In a heartbeat. Not a second thought.
But does he need me and do I need him and are we better
because we came together
when we were both broken and wounded and bleeding and cold
Now we're mending and warmer and dare I say, a little old.
Was it easy?
It's been the hardest thing I've ever done.
It can push 2 lovers apart quicker than any weapon, any gun, any bullet to the heart
that's how some moments felt
I have wept, I have wailed, I have screamed, I have knelt
But one day his daddy may find out what it took
to hold it ALL together and to remain unshook
in the quake of dysfunction and abandonment and grief
of a sweet little boy looking helplessly at me.
She didn't stay, sweet baby, and I'm so sorry. I can't explain it.
But I'm here and I'm not leaving, and I promise - I wouldn't change it.
To every little boy or every little girl who had a mama or a daddy step up outside of the DNA lines.
This is to you dear ones and to the strong adults who have rearranged their hearts and lives for you.
We wouldn't change it.