Half-hugs and easy laughter, ping-pong banter and shared stories. That’s our language:
“You’re not so bad.” (“I love you. I’m proud of you.”)
You’re not so bad yourself.” (“I love you too.”)
Sometimes though, it’s good to say more. To put words to the layers, or at least, to try.
You brought me, screaming, into the world. Nine months, you carried me and cared for me and fed and sheltered me –
and then –
another 37 years. You might not know it, but I think you’ll always carry me.
You taught me what it means
to be a woman
to give of yourself and not ask for it back.
to be weak, yet to risk.
to feel – fully – and not run.
to live in the world, and to love it – but not too much.
For years I’ve watched you. And you’ve taught me
to mend what’s been torn
to fall – and then get up.
to scramble an egg
to love a man
to draw lines. And then cross them.
You made me – and you gave me the place where I fit. A harbour, bright against the storm. A home.
A shape and a sense: of the world, of myself. Of what matters; and what I need to let go.
I’m still learning from you, mum. I’ll never stop.
And if I haven’t bought you a pink swirly card
with poems and hearts
it’s not that I don’t love you.
It’s that they don’t say enough.