so many mothers

there are so many mothers, so many kinds of mothers. we act like they are all one way.

my mother is devout. she wanted the role, it shows in how she listens, shapes us, and how thrilled she is when we shape back.

i know other mothers who can barely breathe in the task. who compete with their children, batter their spirits and deny their own body in iteration.

i know mothers who hold everyone’s children. i know mothers who struggle to hold their own – humble mothers, and mothers who break the spark they’re handed, grind it down with flint in the name of protecting flames from fire.

i know mothers who are the gauntlet their children survive, surpass. the great judgment. i know mothers who prefer their children cowed and complacent, mothers who delegate the miraculous to other gods. mothers who love but do not like. mothers who never battle for the future, who accept the impasse as the end.

i know mothers like me, who hold the fading hands of ghosts, speaking sweet nonsense through the veil: ‘i didn’t deserve you, i didn’t know you were coming for me, my body couldn’t hold you, i dreamed you, i never expected you.’

today, every day, i am grateful for my mother, to whom we, her daughters (and all of our beloveds), are a world she never tires of exploring. grateful to the ferocious and dedicated mothers my sisters and woes have become.

and i am grateful to the mother i walk, who takes the worst of me and still feeds me the sun.

and i am grateful to the mother in me, in all of us – holding nothing perhaps, holding everyone sometimes. never tired of exploring.