She’s Never Called Me Mom

She is my daughter, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve changed her diapers and taught her how to use the potty, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve cooked her breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but she’s never called me Mom.
She’s fallen asleep in my arms, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve wiped her tears and calmed her fears, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve picked out her outfits and helped her put them on, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve listened to her stories and laughed at her corny jokes, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve kept her secrets, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve sacrificed time with friends to be with her instead, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve cleaned up after her and wiped food crumbs from her face, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve brushed her hair and teeth, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve buckled her in and tied her shoes, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve zipped up her jacket and spread sunscreen on her skin, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve caused good of giggles, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve given her hugs and kisses and snuggles on the couch, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve given her baths and helped her put on her PJs, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve watched her shows and learned the names of her friends, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve attended open houses and school concerts, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve thought about her every day, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve thrown birthday parties and sleepovers, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve picked out gifts and placed bows on special wrapping, but she’s never call me Mom.
I’ve baked blue cakes and lit candles, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve tucked her into bed and kissed her goodnight, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve taught her to love herself, but she’s never called me Mom.
I’ve loved her with every ounce of love I have to give, but she’s never called me Mom.
She is my daughter, but she’s never called me Mom.

This is the struggle I believe many stepmothers go through. We love a child that is not our own and give them our all and do it without expectation of a return. I don’t need my stepdaughter to call me Mom, but I used the wording as a demonstration of the thanklessness that the job of stepmom can be.

I hope she understands she has my entire heart. I don’t want to replace her mother in any way, she needs her mother. I just want to be a second set of arms to run to. I want her to always know she has my love no matter what happens in life. No matter where she goes or who she becomes, she will have my heart forever.

In The Night

Night holds no comfort for me.

She holds no solice from the torments of the day.

She taunts me.

She haunts me.

She sneaks into my dreams.

Her spiny black fingers creep into the corners of my mind.

The corners that are reserved for rest.

They clutch at my tranquility and rip it from my mind.

Her wicked thoughts replace the sweetness of my dreams.

Violence and terror.

Fear and horror.

Loathing, hatred, war, suffering.

These are those things which she leaves behind.

Where once peaceful light filled my nights,

Now thick blackness invades.

I can’t escape.

I can’t run.

I can’t hide.

I can’t stay awake.

My eyes and body betray me.

They give in to her sultry whispers.

Her promises of warmth and comfort.

My mind slips into that sardonic grasp.

I’m lost.

I’m broken.

She has me.

She won’t let go.

At my most vulnerable,

In the night.

Nieces and Nephews

Their smiles are brighter than the sun.

Their hugs are warmer than the hottest day of summer.

The sound of your name on their lips for the first time is as beautiful as a symphony.

Their giggle fills the air like fog on a cool morning.

The drawing they give you is more precious than gems.

Their eyes shine when they see you coming up the drive.

Their flat out run to your arms can bring a smile to your face no matter the day you’ve had.

They take you back to being a kid yourself.

They bring out your inner goofball.

They confide in you like you’re their best friend.

They share their secrets and dreams.

They fill your heart with so much love you feel there’s no room for any other emotion.

They are the light of the moon on the darkest of nights.

They are the children you didn’t give birth to.

They are the friends you never knew you needed.

They are the sweetness that dissolves the bitter.

They are nieces and nephews.

My nieces and nephews bring so much joy to my life. Growing up I always wanted kids of my own. Then slowly, the older I got, my mind began to change. The path my life was headed down didn’t really have room for kids. I became a stepmom and that began to fill my need for children of my own. Why have a child of my own when I have such a beautiful, loving, and intelligent stepdaughter that I consider my own? 

Then came more nieces and nephews, my decision to go to school, my decision to try to make a living writing, and my realization that I like my freedom to go where I want, when I want without the need to find a babysitter. Now I’ve completely made up my mind to not have a child of my own. 

That being said, I can’t even begin to describe how much I love my nieces, nephews, and daughter. They make me laugh. They make me shake my head. They make me want to scream. They frustrate me. They bring out the best in me. When I hear my nephew tell me to hug the neighbor kids because “you give hugs and they need hugs too”, my heart practically explodes. When my daughter gives me a drawing with a bubble of words describing me and in the middle is “never hurts”, it brings peace to my soul. When my niece tells me that she feels  most comfortable talking to me about the tough situations in her life, I feel proud. If these are the things that come to mind when they think of me, then that’s all that matters.

I pour all the love I have on these children that are not my own and am rewarded with more than I could have ever asked. They may be part of the family, but they are so much more to me. They are the reason I am comfortable not having children of my own. They bring me so much joy and love that my mommy heart is full to the brim.

If You Knew

If you knew how much I love you, you would never doubt

If you knew how much I love you, you would never feel fear

If you knew how much I love you, you would never ask why

If you knew how much I love you, you would understand

You would understand that no one in this world compares to you

You would understand no one in this world can take your place

You would understand you are my best friend

You would understand you are my reason

You would understand you have my heart

You have my heart like no one has ever had it before

You have my heart like the flowers have petals

You have my heart like the Earth has a core

You have my heart like I never knew was possible

I never knew it was possible to love this much

I never knew it was possible to be this happy

I never knew it was possible to feel what I feel

What I feel is love

What I feel is support

What I feel is encouragement

What I feel is safe

What I feel is a love like no other

A love that beats within my soul

A love that moves through my being

A love that resonates in my mind

A love that echos through my heart

If you only knew how much I love you

Heavy

My heart is heavy, I don’t know how much more beit can sink.

My soul is weary, one more step may be its end.

My eyes sting, reddened and dry.

My chest burns, coals igniting in the scorched cavity.

My body aches, sore from all the tests and trials.

My throat is raw, scratched and unrested.

Is there an end?

If it ends, will my heart recover?

Will my soul feel free and light?

Will my eyes soften and long for sleep no more?

Will the fire in my chest give way to an autumn wind?

Will my body wonder tireless, fatigue only a memory?

Will my throat rejoice in song?

Too much to think about

Too much to do

Too tired to care

Too anxious to sleep

Find Time

Will you find time for me?

Will you tell time that I need more?

I need more time in the day.

I need more time in the week.

How do you find time?

I look for it everywhere I go.

At work it slips away from my grasp.

While I study for school it crawls into the shadows.

As soon as I sit down with my family it seems to disappear.

How, then, can I tell it that I need more time to write?

I need time to slow for me.

I need time to expand for me.

How do you find time?

How do you make it bend to your will?

Can you find time for me?

Can you make it wait a bit longer?

If you find time, tell it to stop.

If only for a moment here and there.

If you find time, tell it to slow down at least.

Is it possible to make time?

Can it be manufactured?

Can I just make more when I need it?

If you find time, please let me know.

Substance

I want substance.

I want depth.

I’ve waded too long in the shallows.

I’ve spent too much of my time on meaningless words.

I can’t seem to find any richness of content.

Where is the complexity of thought?

Have we all lain on the sand for the water to only brush our feet?

My mind is numbed by the waves of simplicity.

Why is the profound so hard to find?

If you’re there, please find me.

Drag me out to your depths.

Pull me into the warm embrace of your insight.

Let me lose myself to your wisdom.

Lull me to sleep with your intellect.

Substance, that is all I want.

Substance.

Only Tuesday

It’s only Tuesday.

Just Tuesday.

It’s not the middle of the week,

It’s not the end.

It’s not really the beginning,

But not much further.

It feels like Wednesday.

It feels like it should be later.

I wish it were.

I want the weekend.

I want to sleep in.

I don’t want to go.

I want to stay.

I want to stay under the covers.

I want to stay in his arms.

But it’s only Tuesday,

So I’ll get up and go.

The ABC’s

Today boot camp prompt is:

Alphabet Poem 

Write  a 26-line  poem  using all  the  letters  of the  alphabet.  Have the  first line  start  with the letter  “A,” the second “B,” the third “C,” etc.

All that consumes me is thought

By night, by day

Catatonic in my ways

Dead inside, alive outside

Everything has lost its color

Fear creeps into my spine

Gargoyles and goblins of my past emerge

Heart pounds against ribs

Intent on breaking free

Jagged nails scrape against stone

Light fades away from my hollowed place

Must I endure this forever

Never ending, never dying

On and on it seems to go

Push it down, far away

Quench their thirst

Serve them until death

Tell them what they want to hear

Until they cease to care

Violent are their moods

Wounding those along their path

Xerox copies of those gone before

Yelling inside my head

Zap. They’re gone

I Hate Myself

I hate myself

She whispers against her pillow

I hate myself

She buries the tears in the soft cotton

I hate myself

She rehashes the day over and over

I hate myself

The conversation repeats itself

I hate myself

The record skips and starts over

I hate myself

Why am I such a freak?

I hate myself

Her knees pulled tight against her chest

I hate myself

In the dark of the night, when no one can see

I hate myself

Why can’t I be free?

I hate myself

She longs to be more like those other girls

I hate myself

She wishes for his attention and affection

I hate myself

Why did I say the words in that order?

I hate myself

She repeats the words anew

I hate myself

In the black of what once was light

I hate myself

She’s said it so many times it’s become a part of who she is

I hate myself

She falls asleep, the words still echoing in her mind

I hate myself

I hate myself

I hate myself