All my life I couldn’t wait to set sail.
I watched the sea, waited on land,
Then one day the waves pulled me in and out
They lurched my stomach,
They stained my cheeks with happy tears,
As I sit here floating in a boat made of dreams.
I rub my belly that swells with the current,
and you, a little whale, bump against my raft.
You dance in the waves, you kick against the breakers.
I have weathered many storms, but you, flesh of my flesh,
bone of my bone,
are my favourite and best one.
One day, you will face your own storms.
You will look into the lightning and run back to my shelter.
But the time will come for you to build your own,
and that is when I will tell you:
build it with a foundation of love,
build it with the community we have created around you,
tie willows of healing at each cornerstone,
bending and not breaking with every gust of wind.
open windows that see each person as valuable and precious,
and fill it with blankets quilted with weathered hands.
let the roof be of gold tested by fire,
the door made of stones softened by rivers of the years on your back,
strong to keep out the foxes that could steal your joy.
One day, I will get to meet you.
Instead of holding you between my ribs and hips,
I will hold you in my arms. I will sing you songs my mother sang to me.
Instead of you being lulled to sleep by the rocking of my womb-waters,
you will cry against my breast and then I will watch you sleep.
It terrifies me, more than anything -
this motherhood thing, caring for the life that has been entrusted to me.
I will watch my life run around on the outside -
skinning its knees and bumping its head.
Your own soul, your own dreams, your own fears,
all wrapped up in a little body that has grown from mine.
I never knew it was possible to love someone so fiercely,
someone I haven’t even met.
I never knew something so small could make me want to live so very very much.
This year, I have felt my body become a home.
Stretching without breaking, with each breath, ribs expanding,
making room for yours, each sinew a vine wrapping you tightly
until the day you leave my womb for the shore.
- Abbie (mother)