My Heart Doesn’t Break

Maybe I’m a bad mother,
But when the door slams and
You’re on the other side of it,
My heart does not break.

The jarring bang and rush of your explosive exit
Spawns a fear that reaches into my gut,
Grabs a fist full of viscera and twists.
Fetid yellowed claws reach up to pierce tender membranes,
And my breath escapes in a pathetic whine,
But my heart does not break.

Now I have two choices.

I can chase you. Scramble frantically to
Find you and then beg and cajole, give in,
Go back on the punishment that prompted your escape.
Forfeit all future influence.

Or I can trust and wait for you. Bide my time
Until you get cold or bored or find you’ve got
No refuge out there in suburbia.

Trust and wait while you
Stomp through the neighborhood,
Enraged at my lack of generosity,
My unwillingness meet you half way.

Trust and wait for you to
Realize that the loss of your laptop for a week
Isn’t worth a night on the streets so
You should come back to me.

Though the fear clamps down harder
And I struggle for breath,
My heart still guides me,
So I will trust,
And I will wait here in the dark
With my intact heart
Until we are on the same side of the door again.

5 Comments on “My Heart Doesn’t Break

  1. Well said. Tough time in a child's life to be a parent! I remember being the parent (not so long ago) AND the kid (a longer time ago).


  2. Beth, thanks for your kind note on my blog. I'm glad I get to return the read. If you're interested, I'll send you the recording of “Gradual Dances”. Just shoot me an e-mail.

    I agree with Devadeva…definitely check out Sharon Olds.

    Also, in tone your poem reminds me of Laurie Albanese's book “Blue Suburbia”.

    Thanks for your words. I'll continue reading!


  3. I will definitely email you… you hit the nail on the head with that one. It will be in my head whenever people complain about how kids “dance” now.

    Sharon Olds has already become one of my favorite poets, and I'll check out Blue Suburbia. Thanks for the rec!


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