mama (contradictory thoughts on mother’s day)

i am not a mama
i was never a mama
(i was with child
i was a brief and clueless mother)
i am a potential mama
a realm of all possibilities mama
(but actually,
an impossible mama)

when i see the bright new of a child
i morph into mama
they mamas give me love
(or side eye
it depends, it’s fine
the children love me)

some babies call me mama
mommy-daddy auntie adjin
tia and other things
that affirm my mothering gifts:
stamina, sweetness, babyfat soft
and a love of play

people say i should become a mama
(they don’t know)
they don’t ask
(i don’t tell them)

i celebrate the sacred gift of motherhood

(but did you lose your mama
did you lose your child
was your mama cruel
was your child a tragedy
is mama a word of grief

i am so sorry
so sorry

and i am not your child
and i can’t be your mama
but that don’t mean you don’t need one)

i love to hold firm the feet
of humans full of miracles
at that precise moment of opening
gasp and life/death groan
the light bursting through them
when they become
mama

and i really love my mama
(she wanted me so much)
she wants me in her life every day
she gives with no conditions
so we keep getting freer together

and my sisters are the kind of mamas
(who have boundaries in their voices)
whose children seek them out
who know how (and teach me) to love

i am surrounded by mamas
i am mothering
i am a mama
(i was always a mama)

1 Response to “mama (contradictory thoughts on mother’s day)”


  1. 1 becca krantz

    thanks for this, adrienne. it speaks so deeply to me and my contradictory feelings on this day…! becca

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