When I Look Back (a poem)

3240278033_8750a08f11_ban email response
a bill to pay
a friend awaiting a call
the blinking of messages and alerts all mixed into a swarm of more obligations
a pile of laundry to transfer into rooms
another bundle to dry
dishes to unload then load again
a counter to wipe, spilled drinks, crumbles of meals
bed linens to straighten after a night of tossing and turning
a face to wash, teeth to brush
hair to pull back, skipping a brush all together
already worn jeans to slip on once again
sandals to hold tired feet
a shirt with a scoop to allow for feeding
a closet full of clothes no longer known
tennis shoes as a reminder to walk a little more
the hidden chocolate bar when it all seems like too much
a phone nearby just in case
a clutter of toys to toss into bins
half-eaten books to align on shelves,
others with pages ripped, confetti covering the floor
pillows to place atop the couch,
the one where two forgotten cats rest
a meal to begin and another to put away
a breath to take
or even acknowledge is held too tight and too high

these are the things that keep me from myself
the tasks that take me away from time
to collect my thoughts, reacquaint myself with my voice
today I choose to place letters into words
words into sentences
sentences into a story of my life here and now
because, just as this process unfolds
so will the years
from months, days,
minutes and moments
moments like this
when I decide to ignore everything around me
because I want to feel
I want to pause time and write a glimpse of my story
so that I can someday look at something to remember,
when I’m sitting on the couch
showered and rested
with hair brushed
cats on my soft thighs
a cup of steaming tea rising like my breath,
just how it all felt long ago

Image: Konstantinos Mavroudis

5 thoughts on “When I Look Back (a poem)”

    1. Thanks, Kerry! I know you understand this topic well as you hold space for women to share and reflect on moments like this and much more in your powerful mothering circles.

  1. “A shirt with a scoop to allow for feeding.” Yep, today at Target I evaluated the neckline elasticity of many shirts, as my 15 month old still nurses like a much younger baby:) She loves mommy’s milk! What a lovely poem, thank you! I can relate to everything but forgotten cats. I have two forgotten Chihuahuas:(

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