I don’t like you, Mom

He thinks if he expresses
how much he doesn’t like me
it will stop me
from trying to be
a good mom.

Oh, my precious baby,
I ache for the feel
of a soft little head
beneath my chin,
and little fingers
clasped about my own.

They were my moments
to worship you.
Little, soft angel,
bright eyed at the sky
the bugs, the trees,
the too big sea.
To stars, my hair,
my crooked toes,
and the birthmark
you try your best to find
on yourself too,
to see we’re marked the same.
We just have to be.

Precious, precious,
the days I could hold you up
to feel the ocean breeze
through splayed hands
or hear a squawk of delight
at the tiniest of crabs.

To touch flowers,
desecrate beauty to discovery,
then give love to it
and celebrate.

To eat snow.
Oh, so cold!
And take another bite.

Peels of joy
by feeding me popcorn
with slimy cold fingers
but a broad smile
radiating the warmth
of heaven.

But you scream that I
have ruined your life.
That you don’t want
to be around me
never again
because I tried.
I tried to be good…

Discipline is bitter medicine
I hate as much as you.

And, oh, you’re hands are still small!
Your smiles still radiant.
Your wide eyes to the world
still bright with wonder.

You’re only four.

Still my baby.
Still the softest, perfect,
sleeping bundle on my chest,
cooing more true
than the purest of doves.

I know this is just a phase.
You are still so young.
You don’t understand what
you’re angry words
do to me.

But they do to me

And oh, my…my beloved…

Precious, little baby.

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