Grandmother looking out a window/DepositPhoto

POEM: Grandmother’s Prayer

By Christi Ortiz

What a shame nature’s planning…

By the time we are wise enough to be mothers
Our bones are too old to bare them
Our children long gone to hold.

How we wish we could go back
To smell their hair and touch their tender skin
To drink in deeply of their joy and laughter

How we wish we could go back
This time more still, more patient
Less worried, less busy

Just to soak them in
And delight in them with childlike joy
As they grow into the miracles they are

Yes my heart mourns for those days
That passed as swiftly as the leaves
In the wind

If I could go back and squeeze them tightly
And whisper I love you a thousand times over
Kiss their cheeks and listen to their stories

But nature has her ways
And all is not lost
With the years that have gone by

I am a mother still
A grand mother at that
A great grand mother to many

You see we are all mothers to one another
There is no time to waste with guilt
What a waste

There’s mouths to feed and clothes to mend
And hurts to heal
I am needed still

The world needs a mother
It needs many mothers
Many mothers hearts and hands to heal its wounds

By birthing life into this world,
I too was birthed into a mother
And now her song calls me to dance

I am here to love and nurture
The many children that come to me
I am a mother to many

And when this woven tapestry of life
Is at last revealed
Perhaps I’ll see it all differently

The regrets like cut threads will fall away
What was beautiful and earnest will remain
And I will know I loved and gave my all as mother

To all who came to me
And I never owned those precious gifts that arrived
Whether through my womb or from without

Some stayed, some passed quickly
But I hold them all tenderly in the chamber of my heart
As my prayer keeps vigil watch over them in the night

They know not my presence as they sleep or cry or work
But I am there loving them still
For it is never too late.

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