Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Letter To A Young Girl

There's no way to say this gently.
You'll never be the easy child.
Not at birth
or five or nine;
not at thirteen,
or any of the times between.
You are going to be need -

need, need, need, need, need.
Needs that she can't meet.
Needs that she can't bear to see unmet.
Needs that won't let her
untangle failure from love.
Needs that will get both of you feeling
that if she only loved you better and enough

you'd be more like the easy child,
the happy child,
the child she turns to to affirm herself
as a mother,
as a good mother,
as good.

Look, I know all of this is impossible to see when you're in it.
Just know that when she tells you she loves you, she means it
with all she has.
You aren't a bad kid,
but you are harder.
When you have your own daughter,
you'll understand.
You'll understand more than you want to.
You'll understand,
and you'll forgive.

For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

12 comments:

Marian said...

Great, great sigh.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh I so know. The cool thing is, such a child is complicated because she is extra brilliant, and because she has a strong lionness of a mom. She can rail against her, because she knows her mom will stick and stay, will try with all her being to keep her safe in an unsafe world, will feel all her joys and pains within herself. Thirteen is just plain hard, no matter what. Sigh.

Kerry O'Connor said...

The secret is in the dialogue.. Complicated women have complicated daughters.

brudberg said...

I think I can understand the struggle... the rewards comes so much later...

Buddah Moskowitz said...

As a middle child myself, I see my three adult children and see my handiwork, some good and some bad.So many good lines here, esp

"Needs that won't let her
untangle failure from love." - Excellent, k.

Jim said...

Another daughter in this world who bides her time. And a mom who wants to prepare her for that.
Been there, when she got her car she thought the time had come. But no, just like riding your bike, you have to clear with us where you are going, when to be back, who will you be with, etc.
Once I had a call, she was at a gas station, dumped. I gladly came and got her. Better than going with the bunch or guy--things you don't know. (Of course guys are more open, I had to bail one--of three-out of jail in the middle of the night.
..

Sioux said...

You're writing like your daughter is grown up you have that wisdom and hindsight... even though I'm almost sure that's not the case.

Kim Russell said...

I agree with Kerry on this one: Complicated women have complicated daughters. Talking is important, although sometimes we can talk too much. Quiet understanding seems to be most effective. Just being there when you're needed.

Fireblossom said...

Like follows like. I can't imagine you having some complacent dumpling for a daughter.

Debi Swim said...

"You'll understand,
and you'll forgive." Oh, the tears I've cried as a mom and as a daughter... Your last line is so true.

Stacie Eirich said...

Oh, I do feel this. I am living this! And because my daughter is only 8, I know I have so far to go -- that there will be more tears, more battles & more forgiveness needed. And I will give it freely, but it will hurt too. But the love never ends. I only hope the same is true for her heart...that it will continue to love & forgive me too. Thanks for the poem.

Susie Clevenger said...

Oh, I get this. I have two daughters. I was always wondering if I loved them enough, encouraged them enough, forgave enough, taught them enough.