I am to be reminded of my shortcomings
in the whimper of your voice
at times when I have failed you.
There is no kindness I may spare
that would free you from the bonds
of human error.
Cry as you do, I may simply
become angry with life
and cry alongside you.
There is no real shelter a mother can give
that she may not, by her hands,
unwittingly remove in a moment’s naivety.
If I could spare you the devil’s hand
in exchange for my own,
I would say that every mother is inevitably damned.
©2012 Jessica Stephenson All Rights Reserved