The Threads that Bind Us - 2008 Poem Contest Winner
The silver needle finally acquiesced to the probing black thread.
Do all parents go through this, I ask myself.
The object of today's battleground lies crumpled upon my lap;
A day old winter jacket already looking shabby,
Scarred through carelessness. Squinting at black fabric,
I concentrate on repairing the gaping, saw toothed pocket.
What had been a pleasant enough day was now marred
By the blazing argument between mother and son.
Falling tears catch the lamplight, rolling then
Splash landing on shiny dampened material.
We no longer share laughter, just angry words it seems.
I pause mid-stitch, an awful thought striking me...
Does he hate me?
It doesn't seem so long ago that he was a happy soul
Before hormones and homework engulfed him.
The battle had ended hours ago in slamming doors
Only to be replaced with a thick, sullen silence
Seeping from his usually noisy room,
Cloaking the very air that I breathed.
A soft knock announced his arrival. He slips quietly into the room.
For the briefest second, I marvel at this awkward man boy
Almost filling the door frame. I dare not raise my head too high.
He shall not witness my tears, not now, not ever.
Never show weakness in battle, even if you feel it.
He shuffles his feet. I gather myself in readiness for round two.
"Yes?" I say stiffly. "Sorry, Mum..." he mutters,
Leaning forward quickly to kiss the top of my bent head.
I am so stunned that I cannot respond immediately
Nor even realize that it would be too late anyway.
He's retreated already to his own domain.
Then a funny thing happened.
In amongst all the confusion,
In that single gloriously precious moment,
I know suddenly -I know- that no matter what,
No matter how many times we fight and argue,
We still, and always will, have love.
A torn pocket I can replace.
My son, I cannot.
Based on a real event, The Threads That Bind Us was written in remembrance of what probably seems like an ordinary moment to most people that passed between my son and I. At a time though when I'd felt that we were losing the connection we had, this unexpected insight was all the more precious.
I like to share this piece with moms everywhere, my wish being that it gives even one mom out there a glimmer of hope on their not-so-good days. Teen years are probably the toughest of all for both parents and kids, but with love as a foundation, we can all come out the other end older and wiser.
Family Lobby is a wonderful place where we can all share our experiences and lives with a true sense of community that's hard to find anywhere these days, let alone online. I think of it as a place of comfort, laughter, refuge and a source of good solid advice - just the way a family should be. I wanted to share my poem with the Family Lobby community because it feels like I'm doing so with my real life family. Winning was an unexpected thrill!
Scottish born and bred and living happily with her Southern - born husband, two loveable mutts and grown son in the US, Kay enjoys writing poetry and only recently picked up the pen again a few years ago at almost forty.
Her motto is: If you write, enjoy it. If you read, enjoy it! If it's your own writing you're reading, enjoy it the most!
She spends her spare time working on their website, http://www.themegaphone.net. It's their way to give back by encouraging others with a similar interest in creative writing to showcase their work at no cost, offering information on publishers seeking submissions and writer's tools and resources.
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