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Courtesy of Others ~
no seed grows
no milk flows
no honey in the hive.
Without my touch
no sweet exchange of breath
between plant and animal
no safe nest from which
to try your fledgling span
no one to miss you when you go
Without the part of you
that is me
your children run out without their shoes
your lover forgets breakfast and will never stop smoking
and those homeless people
will sit on curbs forever
And all I ask is that you reflect to me
what I have given to you....
I held you through your bad dreams
washed your torn and muddied bluejeans
shared my ice cream when the other kids picked on you
I made your azaleas bloom
sympathized with your frustrations
and returned your wallet when you dropped it on the bus
I helped you remember that word
you almost lost down the bathroom drain
and nurture it into a song.
I put into your neighbor's trash can
the exact cable you needed.
I gave you courage to reach out
and make connections that stay.
And all I ask is that you reflect to others
what I have given to you.
I made you a world full of everything
you could possibly need.
I gave you the freedom
to make a grand and glorious mess of it all.
And should that mess prove fatal,
I will even clean up after you
down to that last bit of styrofoam
and radioactive waste.
I will be mother to the cockroaches
if you will not have me.
Such is the prerogative
of a mother's love.
This poem is
Tradition Paganism -
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