The Mother-Way

By Jennifer Ferraro

Eventually you will find a way to be gentle
with yourself

and you will live for what is
small and insignificant

which is all we ever wanted
before we forgot

how every little thing here hides
the unseen heaven

as long as the eyes are tuned
to see it

You will put on the shelf
the half-completed projects
the great ideas that were stillborn,

all that might have been,
what you could have, might have done

if you were not who you are
and only could have been
greater, wiser, more disciplined

You will accept this body as it is,
this mind, this self as it is

with its shames and self-deceptions,
its tender innocence and humanness

its profound confusion before the altar
of loss, sickness, disappointment and pain

You will love yourself
as a mother loves her child,

not the mother you never had
but the one you know exists

that sometimes warms you from the inside
with tender acceptance, forgiveness
of pleasure in your shy neglected flesh

You will love your own self someday
as a mother loves her child

and know at last
the joy that was always yours.

© Jennifer Ferraro, 2002—All rights reserved.

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